West Asheville. Hank Williams, Jr., David Allen Coe and Waylon Jennings.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Legislature of Alabama, 1911

This was a quite a find, and arguably the most significant family item uncovered to date.  In the Senate, portrait # 8 is J.J. Espy of Headland, my great-grandfather.  In the House, portrait # 15 is Major Carroll of Ozark, my great-great-grandfather.  J.J. Espy was Major Carroll's son-in-law.  J.J. Espy had married Emma Penelope Carroll in 1901.  

J.J. Espy, Sr.
(John Jolly Espy, Sr.)

Major Carroll

I must thank cousin Beverly Espy (Dayries) family for preserving this portrait and bringing it to my attention.  In particular, I appreciate Carolyn (Beverly's daughter), who photographed and e-mailed it to me.

Yesterday I contacted the Alabama Legislature office by phone to find out if I could get a current portrait of the Alabama State Legislature.  I would like to be able to post one so we can do a compare/contrast with 100 years ago.  The obvious difference will be numbers of women and African-Americans who have seats today.

Here's a photo of the Alabama legislature of 1872.  Notice numerous black faces.  This is obviously post-Civil War, likely during Reconstruction.  Thomas Franklin Espy (J.J. Espy's father) was also an Alabama legislator (1876-1878, 1896-1898).  He could be in this photo.  James Searcy (J.J. Espy's grandfather served in the Alabama Senate in 1853.  James Buhrman Espy (J.J. Espy's first cousin) was an Alabama State Senator (1919-1923).  Thomas Marion Espy (J.J. Espy's brother) and Major Watt Espy, Sr. (J.J. Espy's son) also served in the Alabama legislature.

UPDATE:  While visiting my Atlanta cousins over the summer, I got to see the newly-framed portrait.  Looks good!

To learn more about Major Carroll, click here.  To discover more about J.J. Espy, click here.

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