About William Wyatt Bibb, Gov.
William Wyatt Bibb (October 2, 1781 – July 10, 1820) was a United States Senator from Georgia and the first Governor of the U.S. state of Alabama. Bibb County, Alabama, and Bibb County, Georgia, are named for him.
He was a member of the Democratic-Republican political party. Bibb served as governor of the Alabama Territory from August 1817 to Dec. 1819, and as governor of the state of Alabama from Dec. 1819 to his death on July 10, 1820.
Bibb was born in Amelia County, Virginia, and later moved with his family to Georgia. After attending the College of William and Mary and the University of Pennsylvania, he was awarded an M.D. degree in 1801. He returned to Georgia and began practicing medicine in Petersburg. In 1803, he married Mary Freeman.
Politics in Georgia
Bibb's first office was as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1803 to 1805. He was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Ninth United States Congress to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Thomas Spalding, and was reelected four times, serving until November 6, 1813. He was then elected to the United States Senate to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of William H. Crawford and served until November 9, 1816.
Governor of Alabama
He was appointed the first governor of the Alabama Territory in 1817. Alabama became a state on December 14, 1819. Bibb was elected governor, defeating Marmaduke Williams. Bibb received 8,342 votes, while Williams got 7,140 votes.
Bibb's primary duties were establishing the state government. Huntsville was the first capital. (The capital was moved to Cahawba in 1820, Tuscaloosa in 1826, and Montgomery in 1846.)
Henry Hitchcock was elected the first Attorney General of Alabama, and Thomas A. Rogers was elected as the first Secretary of State of Alabama. The first session of the state legislature was held from October 25, 1819, to December 17, 1819. William R. King and John W. Walker were chosen as the first U.S. Senators.
In 1820, Bibb suffered a fall from a horse. He died from internal injuries on July 10, 1820. His brother, Thomas Bibb, was president of the state senate at the time and completed the rest of his term.