BRIEF HISTORY OF UA
The Early Years
Founded in 1831, The University of Alabama is the
state of Alabama's flagship institution of higher education with
a three-fold mission of teaching, research, and service. Chartered
by the Alabama Legislature in 1819, the University opened its doors
to white, male students in 1831 and grew steadily until 1865, when
Union troops burned all but a few buildings.
Among the surviving buildings were the President's
Mansion and its four outbuildings: a wash house, a kitchen, and
two slave quarters. The University owned at least one slave as early
as 1828 and hired other slaves, a common practice of the day, to
help maintain campus buildings. In the 1840s, at least two slaves
were buried in the University cemetery: Jack, a University-owned
slave whom President Basil Manly referred to as "an African,
a member of the Methodist Church — honest & faithful,"
and seven-year-old Boysey, a slave belonging to Manly, who died
of whooping cough.
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