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Charles Octavius Boothe, b. 1845
The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama: Their Leaders and Their Work.
Birmingham: Alabama Publishing Company, 1895.


The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama (1895) is a compendium of information about the people who worked to establish schools and churches in post-Civil War Alabama and descriptions of the major African American Baptist churches in Alabama. Boothe includes a brief history of the development of slave religion from its African roots to the growth of the Baptist community in Alabama.

Boothe devotes a chapter to the Colored Baptist Conventions of Alabama for the years 1868 through 1894. Boothe reports the location of each convention, election of officers, major issues addressed, and deaths of important members. Another chapter identifies all of the Colored Baptist Associations in Alabama, from the largest to the smallest. Boothe provides ample information on these associations, including location, membership size, officers, and post offices.

Genealogical researchers will find the chapter containing biographical sketches of important Baptist church and school leaders especially valuable. The sketches highlight the education, activities, and family lives of these Baptist leaders.

The Cyclopedia narrates the history of Selma University, Howard College, the Marion Academy and other African American schools and universities that opened after the Civil War. It is important to note that Boothe places strong emphasis on the significance of education.

Karen Ruffle

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