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In Memoriam, Donald Richard Bounds

We regret to report the passing, on June 22, of Donald Richard Bounds, aged 89 years. Born November 13, 1928 in Illinois, Mr. Bounds graduated from UMS High School in Mobile and was a 1951 graduate of the University of Alabama. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he served in a medical unit of the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Mr. Bounds graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1956; in law school he was a member of the Alabama Law Review.

In 1958 Donald Richard Bounds and Robert T. Cunningham, Sr. founded the law firm of Cunningham Bounds, LLC, which would become one of the most prominent and successful plaintiff’s law firms in the nation. Subsequently Mr. Bounds would serve as president of the Mobile Bar Association, president of the Alabama Trial Lawyers’ Association, and member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Trial lawyers of America. In addition he was a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and a member of the International Society of Barristers, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the American Bar Foundation. In the midst of this exemplary service to the legal profession, Mr. Bounds found time for many charitable activities. The School of Law benefitted from his generosity, including the endowment of a student scholarship in memory of his son Donald Richard Bounds, Jr. In 1998 the Bounds Law Library was named in memory of Donald Richard Bounds, Jr. and Russell Hampton Bounds.

Mr. Bounds is survived by his wife Anita Chamberlain Bounds, his sister Dorothea Bounds Long, and several nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. A service in his memory will be held at 1:00 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church in Fairhope, Alabama.

Jessie Gillis Parish: A Woman Voter of Barbour County, Alabama

Jessie Parish Voter Registration Certificate
Jessie Parish Voter Registration Certificate

In response to our recent posting of D. Pierson’s 1902 “Lifetime” voter registration certificate, our friend David E. Alsobrook sent us an image of his great grandmother’s 1929 certificate. As you can see, it was issued to Jessie Gillis Parish of Barbour County, Alabama, on January 3, 1929. Jessie Parish is one of the individuals discussed in Alsobrook’s forthcoming book Southside: Eufaula’s Cotton Mill Village and Its People, 1890-1945 (Mercer University Press). Following a path blazed by Dr. Wayne Flynt and others, this work will provide “an in-depth-examination of life, loss, and work in a self-contained Southern cotton mill village.” Such studies are necessary if we are to understand the legacies—cultural, political, and religious—left to us by “ordinary” Alabamians. We asked David to give us some background on Jessie Parish, who after all was a member of Alabama’s first generation of women voters. Here is what he said:

Photograph of Jessie, Mallie, and Oma Parish
Jessie, Mallie, and Oma Parish, c. 1909

Although Jessie Parish’s voter registration certificate indicates that she was born on August 18, 1872, this date probably is incorrect.  Her tombstone in Eufaula’s Fairview Cemetery records her date of birth as 1871.  However, U.S. Census records for Barbour County reveal that she was born in 1869, in Glennville, Alabama, a few miles north of Eufaula.  Her parents were Malcolm D. Gillis and Queen Ann Stephenson, who had three other children born between 1873 and 1881.  Malcolm Gillis was a Confederate veteran and a cotton overseer in Glennville.  Jessie married Thomas Mallie Parish in Eufaula in 1898. They had a daughter, Oma Parish Alsobrook (1899-1969), my grandmother.  Jessie, Mallie, and Oma all worked at Donald Comer’s Cowikee Mills in Eufaula.  The accompanying photo of the Parishes was taken around 1909.  The Parishes were typical of the families who eked out a subsistence living in the cotton mills and lived in the village known as “Southside.”  Jessie Parish probably was the first woman in her family to cast a ballot in Alabama. 

Jessie Parish died in Eufaula on October 19, 1939. I only knew her from my grandmother’s occasional comments. However, her mother, Queen Anne Gillis, lived for many years afterward, and my grandmother remembers her well.  I suspect that Jessie probably met her future husband, Thomas Mallie Parish, on the job in old Eufaula Cotton Mill, owned by Capt. John Tullis.  

Jessie was a straight-laced Baptist her entire life, and her husband Mallie was a Methodist.  At her funeral, the ministers from the two Southside “mission” churches officiated–Washington Street Methodist and Second Baptist.  After Donald Comer acquired the “busted” Eufaula Cotton Mill in 1909 and changed its name to Cowikee Mill, Jessie and Mallie continued to work together there or possibly later at Cowikee Mill No. 3 in Eufaula.  These are the only basic details I know involving Jessie Gillis Parish.  She and Mallie were typical mill operatives–they worked hard all of their lives, and the debilitating nature of the work took a toll on their bodies, and their daughter Oma eventually joined them in the mill.

Like so many other mill families in Eufaula, the Parishes are rather invisible and anonymous in historical annals.  As you’ll see in the pages of Southside, my grandmother Oma told me a lot about her father Mallie and the other Parishes, but for whatever reason, she seldom talked about her mother.

Announcing a Collaborative Project between UA and UVA Law Libraries

Image of Meador at the UA Law School
Dean Daniel Meador at the University of Alabama School of Law

Over the past year the Litera Scripta editors and research assistants have worked with their counterparts at the University of Virginia Law Library to create a website presenting the correspondence of Daniel J. Meador (1926-2013) and his pupil Ronald Sokol. A native Alabamian and a 1951 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, Meador was a distinguished law professor whose service at the University of Virginia began in 1957 and continued until 1994, interrupted by a year in England as a Fulbright fellow (1965), four years as Dean of the University of Alabama School of Law (1966-1970), and two years as Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice (1977-1979). During most of this period Meador corresponded with his former pupil Ronald Sokol (UVA Law, class of 1962). Like Meador, an habitual student and a prolific author, Sokol has traveled the world studying languages, laws, and cultures; but most of his time since 1970 has been spent in Aix-en-Provence, where he has built up a substantial practice in French and international law. Sokol’s correspondence with Meador features discussions of politics, approaches to law (French, American, and Cambodian), and the nature and flaws of institutions, as well as insights into regional cultures, writing, and travel, and reflections upon the passage of time. Please see below for the link to the website, which is titled “The Letters of Daniel Meador and Ronald Sokol.”

In Memoriam Brad LeMarr (1974-2015)

We announce with much sadness the death of University of Alabama School of Law graduate and former Special Collections Research Assistant Brad E. LeMarr. Brad died on January 20, 2015, at the age of forty. Possessed of a truly versatile mind, Brad earned advanced degrees in History and Classics in addition to the JD (class of 2008) and MLS that he received from the University of Alabama. He was admitted to the state bars of Alabama and Oklahoma, but his true love was classical history, especially that of the late Roman Republic. Kind and attentive to his colleagues at the Bounds Law Library, Brad applied intellect and intuition to the processing of collections. He also participated with enthusiasm in the production of our seventh Occasional Publication, titled A Goodly Heritage: Judges and Historically Significant Decisions of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, 1804-1955 (2010). Requiescat in pace!

Welcome to Litera Scripta

Welcome to Litera Scripta, the Bounds Law Library Special Collections blog! We hope to share with you our many books, manuscripts, and artifacts. We’re not particular about form or format. At Bounds, we preserve and catalog a diverse collection of documents and objects, all with an eye to the evolution of common law. Our primary focus is on legal history in Alabama; but we’re also interested in law and society in the south and the nation, in the English roots of constitutionalism and the rule of law, and in the history of the civil law.

Thus we’ll be blogging about our collections of early Alabama lawbooks; our Tudor-Stuart treatises, abridgements, and reporters; our first edition Blackstone; our collections of lawyers’ notebooks and Alabama judges’ scrapbooks. That’s just a start! Soon, for instance, we’ll unveil an assemblage of books and ephemera associated with the Knights Templar. And much, much more. Most of our holdings are by definition hard-to-find. Some are large and impressive, such as Justice Hugo L. Black’s reconstructed study; others are small and unique, such as Justice Black’s ouija board. We’ll speak for all of them—with the possible exception of the ouija board, which has been known to speak for itself.

A word about our title, translated freely as “the written word.” These words are plucked from a Latin proverb sometimes quoted by lawyers: “Vox emissa volat; litera scripta manet.” Or, “Spoken words fly away; the written letter remains.” As to the printed letter, the decorative initial letter in our title was borrowed from Renaissance printer Richard Tottel’s 1562 work, Regis Edwardi Tertii a primo ad decimum….

Finally, our editors Paul M. Pruitt, Jr. and David I. Durham would like to introduce themselves and their colleague and fellow contributor Ellie Campbell.

Paul M. Pruitt, Jr. is Special Collections Librarian at the Bounds Law Library—a position he has occupied since the crust of the earth began to cool— and Adjunct Instructor at the UA School of Law. He is co-editor, with David I. Durham, of the Occasional Publications of the Bounds Law Library. The latest in this series (Number 8) is titled Traveling the Beaten Trail: Charles Tait’s Charges to Federal Grand Juries, 1822-1825 (2013). Pruitt has authored a number of journal articles; in addition he is author of the book Taming Alabama: Lawyers and Reformers, 1804-1929 (UA Press, 2010).

David I. Durham is the Curator of Archival Collections at the Bounds Law Library and teaches in the university’s Department of History. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Occasional Publication series with Paul Pruitt, Durham’s research interests include legislative, legal, and diplomatic topics in the United States and Latin America. His book, A Southern Moderate in Radical Times: Henry Washington Hilliard, 1808-1892, explores the role of a political and social moderate in a polarized society and was published by LSU Press in 2008 as part of their Southern Biography Series.

Ellie Campbell is the Archival Assistant at the Bounds Law Library and is a recent graduate of both the University of Alabama’s School of Law and School of Library and Information Studies. Additionally, she holds a Master’s degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s in American Studies from King’s College London. She is the author of “Breakthrough Verdict: Strange v. State,” a chapter in the forthcoming book New Corn, New Fields: Essays in Alabama Legal History. She will occasionally contribute book notes on key texts addressing Southern and Alabama legal history.