The story of Alabama's five capitals--St. Stephens, Huntsville, Cahawba, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery--begins in a rough semi-civilized Washington County village and ends at the old cotton town of Montgomery. Between 1817 and 1846, the capitals crisscrossed the state from north to south and east to west, following the political powers and fortunes of the times, and amid more noble arguments that the capital should be near the center of the state. It is the story of Alabama's government, buildings, and laws. It is the story of towns, some of which sprang up and died when the capital moniker came and went. Most of all, the story of Alabama's capitals is the story of its people: some whose undying devotion to statehood brought Alabama to life; some who used state government in their rise to power and financial prominence; some whose generosity and pureness of heart kept Alabama on solid moral and financial ground; and some whose prejudices held back this state when it should have moved forward. The Five Capitals of Alabama paints a dramatic picture of where we began, where we are today, and the twisting journey taken along the way.