Special Collection Treasures
Published on March 1, 2011 by Jennifer Taylor

On December 19, 1871 the city of Birmingham was incorporated by an act passed by the Alabama Legislature. The act authorized the Governor of Alabama to appoint a mayor and eight aldermen to act as the government for the city.

The city was founded at the crossroads of two railroads. All land within 3,000 feet of the Alabama and Chattanooga Railroads at 26th street became part of the city. Birmingham became known as the magic city because of its rapid growth in population. According to the U.S. Census, there were 3,086 people living in the city by 1880.

In section 16 of the act, the mayor was given power to require that all males between the ages of 18 and 45 be required to work five days a year on the streets and avenues of the city.

Page 1
Pages 2-3
Pages 4-5


  • 1871 Acts of Alabama
  • U.S. Census