acumen 3.0ɑ
A. S. Williams III Americana Manuscript Collections

Guide to the J. D. Barron research material on Native Americans W.0088


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

December 2013


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-12-17T11:30-0600

Language Usage:


Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

J. D. Barron research material on Native Americans

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


0.1 Linear feet



General Physical Description note

Manuscript is fragile.


The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama


Research notes and correspondence related to J. D. Barron's research on native American place names in Alabama.


Barron, J. D. (Joseph Day), 1833-1910


Williams, A. S., III

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains J. D. Barron's research materials and correspondence relating to Alabama place names with roots in Native American languages.

Barron's notes are contained in one notebook of handwritten definitions of Native American place names. Initial entries are written in pen, while later edits are written in pencil. The notebook includes definitions of Creek, Chickasaw, and Choctaw words.

The collection also includes six letters written between 1887 and 1906 related to his research. Most of the letters discuss dictionaries, journal articles, and other published resources related to Native American languages.

Barron's research on Native American languages appears to have never been published.

Biographical/Historical note

Newspaper editor and legislator J. D. (Joseph Day) Barron was born on March 19, 1833, in Upson County, Georgia. Barron's family moved to Alabama when he was a child, first living in Russell County and later moving to Randolph County. He was educated in local public schools and was trained as a mechanic.

On April 13, 1854, Barron married Rebecca Wood in Randolph County; the couple had four sons and five daughters.

In 1856, Barron became the editor of the Louina Eagle. He edited the publication, later titled the Southern Mercury, until 1861. In 1864, he joined the Sixth Alabama Calvary and served in the regiment until the end of the war.

Barron's political career began in 1874, when he was elected to represent Clay County in the state legislature. From 1878-1887, he served as the chief clerk in the Secretary of State's office. In 1889, he was elected to serve as the Alabama secretary of state; he served in the position until 1894.

After retiring from political service, Barron worked as a member of the Montgomery Advertiser's editorial staff, writing for the newspaper between 1878 and his death in 1910. Barron wrote poems and short stories for several publications, and he also researched and wrote historical articles on Native American law and culture. He died on June 11, 1910, in Montgomery.

Source: Thomas McAdory Owen, History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography.

General note

Title on Spine: J. D. Barron's Manuscript on Alabama Indian Place Names, Montgomery ca. 1890

Access Restrictions:


Processing Information:

Processed by

Haley Aaron, 2013

Preferred Citation:

J. D. Barron research material on Native Americans, A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Acquisition Information:

Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Related Archival Materials note

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection holds other material on place names in Alabama. Please see staff for assistance.


Williams, A. S., III (local)

Alabama (lcsh)

Chickasaw Indians (lcsh)

Choctaw language (lcsh)

Correspondence (aat)

Creek Indians (lcsh)

Indians of North America (lcsh)

Names, Geographical (lcsh)

Native Americans (localbroad)

Research notes (aat)

Research notes Box W0088.01 Folder 1

Correspondence Box W0088.01 Folder 2