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John Witherspoon DuBose papers

Identifier: W-0086

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the serialization of John Witherspoon DuBose's "Chronicles of the Canebrake," as well as photographs, correspondence, biographical sketches,and newspaper clippings.

The first box contains newspaper clippings of DuBose's "Chronicles of the Canebrake," a social history of Marengo County and a series of bibliographic sketches. "Chronicles of the Canebrake" was published as a newspaper serial in the Birmingham Age-Herald in 1910. This collection contains copies of serial installments published between March and November 1910, although some installments are missing from the collection. "Chronicles of the Canebrake" was republished in the Alabama Historical Quarterly, Winter 1947 edition.

The second box contains photographs, correspondence, and biographical information related to DuBose's career and his death. Notable items include copies of letters written by Thomas McAdory Owen that mention "Chronicles on the Canebrake." This material was compiled by archivist Peter Brannon for a speech he presented in 1966.


  • 1893 - 1918


Physical Description

Some newspaper clippings are very fragile, with significant tears.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Biographical / Historical

John Witherspoon DuBose was born on March 5, 1836, at Society Hill, South Carolina. DuBose and his family moved to Marengo County, Alabama, when he was 14. In 1857, he inherited his father's plantation, which he managed for twenty-five years.

In 1861, DuBose joined the Confederate Army, enlisting as a private. Due to health concerns, he was discharged in 1862, but continued to work as a military recruiter. After the war, DuBose returned to Marengo County and continued growing cotton on his estate. As cotton prices continued to sink, he left the plantation and moved to Birmingham in 1884.

DuBose wrote for several Birmingham newspapers, including the Birmingham Age-Herald. He also wrote several historical monographs, including A History of Jefferson County (1887), The Life and Times of William Lowndes Yancey (1892), and General Joseph Wheeler and the Army of the Tennessee (1912).

From 1901 to 1915, DuBose worked at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, where he was known as a capable researcher and historian.

DuBose was killed in a railroad accident on February 14, 1918.

Source: Williams, Benjamin Buford. A Literary History of Alabama: The Nineteenth Century (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press: 1979), 165-166.


0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Contains newspaper serialization of John Witherspoon DuBose's Chronicles of the Canebreak, as well as photographs, correspondence, biographical sketches and newspaper clippings related to this Alabama historian.

Physical Location

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama


Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Related Materials

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library, and Gorgas Library hold many of DuBose's published works. See staff for assistance.

Physical Description

Some newspaper clippings are very fragile, with significant tears.


Title on Spines: Chronicles of the Canebrake by John W. Dubose: Original Newspaper Series, 1910; John Witherspoon DuBose

Processed by

Haley Aaron, 2013



Guide to John Witherspoon DuBose papers
November 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266