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Sidney Lanier - Prattville, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member xptwo
N 32° 27.808 W 086° 28.114
16S E 549942 N 3591933
Quick Description: This historic marker tells how the poet Sidney Lanier was principal and teacher at the Prattville Male and Female Academy in Prattville, Alabama, in 1867-1868.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 12/22/2012 8:30:37 AM
Waymark Code: WMFZAT
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Thorny1
Views: 6

Long Description:
When Daniel Pratt bought property to begin making cotton gins by the Autauga River, he wound up creating an entire town. The school was part of his efforts to help the community. Although the town of Prattville was small, Daniel Pratt wanted it to rival northern towns in his native New Hampshire. According to the Chamber of Commerce web site,

"Pratt once stated that his objective was, "...to give employment to as many operatives as means can justify, and to furnish them with educational and religious advantages." He was a man of his word. He built small, comfortable homes for his workers and provided them with gardens so that they could grow their own food. He built a Methodist church building at a personal cost of $20,000.00 and was responsible for the 1859 construction of the Prattville Male and Female Academy." source: (visit link)

Daniel Pratt was able to keep his factory and town intact after the Civil War, thus allowing him to continue to provide educational opportunies as well as jobs for returning Confederate veterans.

The text of the marker reads:

Sidney Lanier
1842-1881

The poet and musician, born in Macon, Georgia, was Academy principal and teacher in 1867-68. He married Mary H. Day of Macon in December 1867. In Prattville, they lived at the Mims Hotel and later in Dr. S.P. Smith's home.

Following a brief legal career in Georgia, Lanier became first flutist in 1873 with the Peabody Orchestra in Baltimore and in 1879 was appointed as lecturer in English Literature at Johns Hopkins University.

He wrote the words for the American Centennial Cantata and his poetry includes, "The Marshes of Glynn" and "Song of the Chattahoochee." The poet's experiments with musical sound in verse were a significant literary contribution.

Lanier died at the age of 39 from the tuberculosis he had contracted as an imprisoned Confederate soldier during the Civil War. He was buried in Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore.

Daniel Pratt Historic District
Marker Placed by Historic Prattville Redevelopment Authority for City of Prattville
Alabama Historical Association

1997
Marker Name: Sidney Lanier / 1842-1881

Marker Type: Urban

Addtional Information::
The marker is located in front of the Prattville Primary School, on Wetumpka Road near the corner of North Washington Street.


Date Dedicated / Placed: 1997

Marker Number: None

Visit Instructions:
Please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alabama history please include that in your log.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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hoteltwo visited Sidney Lanier - Prattville, AL 12/17/2013 hoteltwo visited it