This historical marker is located in front of the Washington County courthouse at Chatom (GPS coordinates 31.465740, -88.256272). The marker provides details about Washington County which is the oldest established county in the state of Alabama, and originally included much of both the states of Alabama and Mississippi. This marker was erected by the Alabama Historical Association in 1959.
Following is the inscription on the marker:
First county in Alabama. Created in 1800 by proclamation of governor of Mississippi Territory. This was first U. S. civil government in area that was to become Alabama. Its original boundaries: East-to-west: Chattahoochee to Pearl River; South, 31° lat. (Present Ala.-Fla. Line); North, 32° 28′, a line just north of Phenix City-Montgomery-York. From these 25,000 square miles have come 26 counties in Alabama, Mississippi.
Early history of this area. 1519-1700: Claimed by Spain as part of Florida by discovery, exploration, conquest and attempted settlement. 1700-1763: Claimed by France as part of Louisiana by exploration, settlement. 1763-1780: Seized by England as part of West Florida after defeating French. 1780-1795: Regained by Spain during American Revolution by invasion, occupation. 1795-Spain ceded area to U. S. 1798-U. S. created Mississippi Territory.