The Online Museum Store of the Alabama Department of Archives & History
Eugene Allen Smith's Alabama, Henderson
In 1871 when the University of Alabama reopened after its destruction by federal troops, Eugene Allen Smith returned to his alma mater as professor of geology and mineralogy. After persuading the legislature to appoint him state geologist in 1873, he spent his summers enduring chills, fevers, and verbal abuse as he searched for industrial raw materials that could bring about better lives for destitute Alabamians. What he accomplished became the catalyst that transformed Alabama from an aimless and poverty-stricken agricultural state to an industrial giant to be reckoned with. The story of “Little Doc,” as told in Eugene Allen Smith’s Alabama, is drawn from many sources: Smith’s transcribed field notes, countless numbers of letters he received and the carbon copies of his replies, his published reports over a period of fifty years, wills, genealogical records, histories of the state and of the University of Alabama, and contemporary newspapers.