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The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Mobile (county)

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MOBILE, a S. W. county of Alabama, bounded E. by Mobile river and bay, S. by the gulf of Mexico, and W. by Mississippi; area, nearly 1,400 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 49,311, of whom 21,107 were colored. The surface is generally uneven, except in that portion bordering on the bay and gulf, and the soil is sandy and poor, mainly covered with forests of pine. It has many streams of pure water, and, except on the low borders of the river, is very healthful. The county is traversed by the Mobile and Ohio, the New Orleans, Mobile, and Texas, and other railroads terminating at Mobile. A few miles S. of the mainland, in the gulf of Mexico, immediately W. of the entrance of Mobile bay, and forming a part of the county, is Dauphine island, the seat of a French settlement established by Bienville in 1702. It was originally called Massacre island, from the number of human bones found upon it. For several years it was at intervals the seat of government of the colony of Louisiana. The chief productions in 1870 were 61,350 bushels of Indian corn, 10,394 of Irish and 67,116 of sweet potatoes, 90,100 lbs. of rice, 7,532 of wool, 1,450 of honey, and 317 bales of cotton. There were on farms 451 horses, 492 mules and asses, 3,214 milch cows, 518 working oxen, 4,377 other cattle, 3,013 sheep, and 5,567 swine. There were 5 flour mills, 12 saw mills, 11 manufactories of tin, copper, &c., 14 of cigars, 2 of engines and boilers, and 5 of tar and turpentine. Capital, Mobile.