On this day in Alabama history: Alabama’s first House speaker died

On this day in Alabama history: Alabama’s first House speaker died
The main house on the Dellet Plantation in Claiborne, Monroe County, was built between 1835 and 1840 by lawyer, politician and planter James Dellet, who served as the first speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives in 1819. Claiborne was a bustling center of business and civic life in the early years of Alabama's statehood, but it is now abandoned; the Dellet house is the only remaining residence there. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

December 21, 1848

James Dellet (1788-1848) was a prominent attorney, politician and planter in early Alabama. Born in Camden, New Jersey, on Feb. 18, 1788, Dellet was raised in South Carolina where he attended college, studied law and began his law practice. In 1818, he moved to Claiborne in Monroe County, Alabama. He continued practicing law and became a circuit judge. Dellet was elected to represent Monroe County in the inaugural session of the state Legislature when Alabama became a state. He was selected to serve as the first speaker of the House of Representatives. Dellet served four terms in the Legislature between 1819 and 1832, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1838 until 1845. Dellet retired from Congress because of declining health. He returned to his plantation in Claiborne and died Dec. 21, 1848.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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