Person:Septimus Douglass Cabaniss

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Septimus Douglass Cabaniss


From Hoole Library
 Attorney

Born:December 18, 1815, Montgomery County, AL
Died:March 30, 1889, Bartow, FL
Buried:Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, AL
Residence:603 Randolph Avenue SE - He purchased the house in 1843 from John Roach for his young bride.
Son of:Charles Cabaniss
Father of:Frances S. Cabaniss
Husband of:Virginia Sheppard Cabaniss


Notes:

•  "Having read law under Hon. Silas Parsons, he was admitted to the bar in 1838 and engaged in practice at Huntsville." - Alabama Biography

•  "He was the first register in chancery for Montgomery County and held that position for several years." - Alabama Biography

•  "He was also assignee in bankruptcy for his district in 1841-3." - Alabama Biography

•  "He retired from a lucrative practice in 1858 to engage in other pursuits, being at the time associated with L. P. Walker and R. C. Brickell." - Alabama Biography

•  "He was defeated for the office of chancellor by Hon. A. J. Walker in 1853, and in 1861 represented Montgomery County in the general assembly." - Alabama Biography

•  "He resumed his professional labors in 1865. " - Alabama Biography

•  "He died on March 30, 1889, while on a trip to Bartow, Florida, an area that he had previously invested in and where his son Septimus Douglass Jr. had once tried to cultivate an orange grove." - Archivist'sTool

•  Register of Circuit Court 1839-1843
State legislator 1861-1863 - Find a Grave

•  "The University of Alabama Libraries' Digital Services Department was awarded a grant by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to digitize the papers of Septimus D. Cabaniss, a Civil War era attorney, noteworthy for his role as executor of the estate of a wealthy plantation owner who sought to manumit and leave property to his slaves. The grant funded project lasted 14 months, beginning in January 2010 and ending in February 2011.... The purposes of this project were to scan and make available online the complete Septimus D. Cabaniss papers (1815-1889, 31.8 linear feet) in an efficient and cost effective manner, demonstrating and testing a simple and straightforward model. This model will enable other institutions to digitize large quantities of materials at a minimal cost, and still provide effective search and retrieval, as well as context of content for scholars." - Hoole Library

•  "In 1853, Cabaniss was employed by the wealthy, unmarried Samuel Townsend to draft a will that would allow him to manumit and leave property to a selection of his slaves, many of who were his children. Townsend was concerned because his brother Edmund Townsend's will had been held void by the courts at the time of his death in 1853. Edmund had left the bulk of his estate to two of his slaves, whom he acknowledged as his children. However, the extended family of Edmund protested and succeeded in nullifying his will for their benefit. Samuel Townsend was concerned that his own will could be held void and hired Cabaniss to draft a will which would protect the interest of his chosen heirs. At his death in 1856, the Samuel Townsend estate was valued at approximately $200,000, including eight plantations totaling 7,560 acres and 190 slaves. In 1856, Cabaniss re-drafted the will of Samuel Townsend to provide for the emancipation and removal of forty of his slaves to a free territory. Most of his property was to be auctioned, and the profits were to be placed into a trust which would be drawn upon for settling debts and for the expenses of removing slaves to northern territories. The will was unsuccessfully contested for nearly two years by the natural heirs of Samuel Townsend, but in 1858 it was finally probated, though more legal battles and the Civil War would soon interrupt its disbursements. Townsend's former slaves were relocated to Ohio and Kansas, and after the Civil War, Cabaniss continued trying to liquidate and settle the remainder of the estate. Major disbursements were not made to Townsend's heirs until 1871, a delay which was due to several factors, including an attempt to collect the massive sum of debts owed to the estate and the Civil War. The heirs received various payments throughout the 1870s, the last of which was paid in 1879. The estate was finally settled in 1890, when the remaining property was turned over to the estate of Cabaniss as partial payment owed him. In the final analysis, the Townsend heirs received less than one-fourth of the original value of the estate, the rest having been used to pay for the administration, which had been complicated by the Civil War and the many lawsuits which were required to bring about a final settlement." - Hoole Library

•  "Son of Charles Cabaniss (1773-1825) and his wife Lucy Ingram (1775-1827), who moved from Lunenberg County, VA to Madison County, AL in 1810." They were among the first settlers in Madison County, AL. His father built and ran the first cotton gin and mill in Madison County. - University of Virginia

•  "The Cabaniss family in America is descended from Henri Cabaniss of LaSalle, France, a French Huguenot who arrived in North America in 1688, and who settled in Manakin Town (near Richmond), in Goochland County, Virginia, in 1700. The Cabaniss men who attended the University of Virginia were third- and fourth-generation descendants of Henri; Charles James Cabaniss was the third cousin of Septimus Douglass Cabaniss, Sr., and the third cousin once removed of Charles Eugene Cabaniss and Septimus Douglass Cabaniss, Jr." - University of Virginia

•  Septimus married Virginia A Shepherd (1824-1907) on June 19, 1845, in Madison Co., AL. Virginia was born in Virginia according to census information from her daughter, Lucy. - University of Virginia

•  Father of twelve children but only six lived to adulthood.
These surviving children were:
1. Rev. Charles Eugene (1846-1938) married Lucy Spotswood, served in a number of Episcopal parishes around the US. They had one son, Robert Bolling Cabaniss and two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth.
2. Lucy Cabaniss Roberts (1851 - March 17, 1931) married Baker L. Roberts, Gainesville, AL. Their children are: Virginia, Richard (father of Frances Roberts) Ellen and Sallie
3. Septimus Douglas, Jr. (1853-1910) married Katherine Darst, moved to California. They had no children.
4. Frances "Fannie" S. (1856-1937) unmarried
5. William M. (1860-1890) unmarried
6. James Budd Cabaniss (1861-1903) unmarried
- University of Virginia

•  During the American Civil War he served the Confederacy as an Alabama state legislator from 1861-1863, and also as a Colonel in the Intelligence Division of the Confederacy. - University of Virginia

•  Septimus married Virginia A Shepherd (1824-1907) on June 19, 1845, in Madison Co., AL - University of Virginia

•  "The Cabaniss family in America is descended from Henri Cabaniss of LaSalle, France, a French Huguenot who arrived in North America in 1688, and who settled in Manakin Town (near Richmond), in Goochland County, Virginia, in 1700. The Cabaniss men who attended the University of Virginia were third- and fourth-generation descendants of Henri; Charles James Cabaniss was the third cousin of Septimus Douglass Cabaniss, Sr., and the third cousin once removed of Charles Eugene Cabaniss and Septimus Douglass Cabaniss, Jr." - University of Virginia

•  In his early years he was educated at Green Academy in Huntsville, AL. "Septimus attended the University of Virginia in sessions 9-11 (1832-1835), and returned to Huntsville to read law with a local attorney. He passed the Alabama Bar in 1838 and practiced law, primarily dealing with estates, in Huntsville until his death." - University of Virginia and Alabama Biography


Related Links:
•  Alabama Biography - History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 3,?by Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen, © 1921, p. 278.
•  Ancestry.com - Page owned by Jamie Boyd and requires Ancestry.com membership to view.
•  Archivist'sTool - Guide to the S.D. Cabaniss Papers at University of Alabama. Guide prepared by Merrily A. Harris.
•  Find a Grave - Page created by Graveaddiction on May 21, 2004. Photo added by aladdinsane85.
•  Hoole Library - Hoole Library, University of Alabama houses the digitized papers of Septimus D. Cabaniss.
•  University of Virginia - Biographical information listed for notable alumni.


The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  603 Randolph Avenue SE
•  Charles Cabaniss
•  Frances S. Cabaniss
•  Virginia Sheppard Cabaniss



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