Old Cahawba wagon tour to roll Saturday morning

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2020

At 10 a.m. Saturday, Old Cahawba Archaeological Park will host its “Road to Freedom” wagon tour, which tells the story of the emancipated African-Americans that rallied around the Cahawba courthouse in pursuit of voting rights 100 years before the start of the Voting Rights Movement.

“Of all the tours we do, this is perhaps my favorite because it makes me think about the meaning of freedom, said Old Cahawba Archaeological Park Site Director Linda Derry. “I like to start this tour by asking participants to consider what they would do if suddenly, one day, for the first time, they were told they were free. Then, as we tour historic locations throughout the park, we discover the first freedoms that Cahawba’s newly-emancipated people sought. This look at the struggles for freedom from the inside out can be a humbling experience.”

By 1864, roughly 64 percent of Cahawba’s populations was African-Americans – after emancipation, these former slaves were able to engage in commerce and attain political power.

Some of those that called Cahawba home went on to statewide renown – the self-educated Jeremiah Haralson went on to serve in the Alabama House, the Alabama Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives; Jordan Hatcher, Cahawba’s postman, was named to the Constitutional Convention.

The timing of the event corresponds with the beginning of Black History Month, but also with the sesquicentennial of the 15th Amendment, which was adopted to protect the freedoms outlined in the 13th and 14th amendments.

Tickets for the event, which are available at the Old Cahawba Visitors Center, are $8 for children and $10 for adults.

For more information on Old Cahawba or the upcoming wagon tour, visit www.ahc.alabama.gov.