Supreme Court and State Law Library

Supreme Court and State Law Library

Antebellum Gallery

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This gallery, originally designed as a waiting room for visitors to justices' suites, is now an evolving museum area for the Supreme Court from the antebellum era.

Portraits of the first eleven Chief Justices, all pre-Civil War, are hung in this room. These include Abner Lipscomb, the second chief justice to serve on the Supreme Court, 1823-1825, who after leaving the bench, moved to Texas and served on their first Supreme Court, as he had served in Alabama. To this day, his is the only portrait allowed to hang behind the Texas Supreme Court bench.

A portrait of Chief Justice Goldthwaite, painted by his granddaughter, Anne (famous painter), also hangs in this room. This is the most valuable painting in the building.

The display case in the center holds a portable desk of rosewood veneer and brass inlay on mahogany. This was used by Justice Webb around 1810 as he traveled the circuit.

The gavel in the center was presumably used by Chief Justice Walker, who served during the Civil War and into the Reconstruction era.

The record book is from the beginning of the Alabama Supreme Court and is turned to the page of the first Supreme Court session held in 1820 in Cahawba.

This room also holds a fine antique bookcase donated by the Knabe family of Montgomery. It displays both artifacts and rare books and manuscripts.

A restored armchair that formerly belonged to Reuben Saffold, one of the antebellum chief justices, is displayed in this room.


Library Information


The library is located on the first floor of the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building.


Alabama Supreme Court and State Law Library
300 Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104


The Library is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. except State holidays. (Calendar)

Contact Information

Supreme Court of Alabama
Court of Civil Appeals
Court of Criminal Appeals
State Law Library