Neeley Debuts History Book at Huntingdon Event
Montgomery, Ala.—Huntingdon College will host Alabama historian Mary Ann Neeley for a discussion
and readings from her latest book, “The Works of Matthew Blue: Montgomery’s First Historian,”
Tuesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Huntingdon College’s Smith Hall, Delchamps Recital Hall. The event is
free and open to the public.
“The Works of Matthew Blue” will be published next month by NewSouth Books and has been called a
“landmark” volume in Alabama history. The book chronicles the early days of Montgomery, Alabama, as
written by Matthew Blue in his 1878 “City Directory of Montgomery,” which included “A Brief History
of Montgomery,” the earliest published history of the city and still, according to Dr. Ed Bridges, director
of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, “The single most important source of information we have
on early Montgomery.” Neeley became aware of Blue’s work in the 1950s upon the republication of his 1878
volume. Ten years ago, she began the process of researching, editing, and annotating his work. “The Works of
Matthew Blue” includes a profile of Blue, written by Neeley, as well as a detailed genealogy of the Blue
family and a Civil War diary written by Blue’s sister, Ellen. The book presents 183 19th-century photographs
and maps and a detailed index.
A Class of 1954 Huntingdon College alumna, Mary Ann Neeley has been chronicling the history of Montgomery for
more than five decades. Neeley has served as a history teacher and, for many years, as the director of the Landmarks
Foundation. She frequently conducts walking tours of the city and researches, lectures, and writes on Montgomery and
Alabama history. In 2004, Neeley contributed a new foreword to the republication of “The History of Huntingdon
College: 1854–1954,” by the late professor of English emerita Rhoda Coleman Ellison, for whom Neeley had
served as researcher during the process of writing the book on its original publication. Neeley’s other
publications include “Montgomery and the River Region Sketchbook” (2005); “Old Alabama Town”
(2002); and “Montgomery: Capital City Corners” (1997).
Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is committed to
nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service, and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly
changing world. A coeducational liberal arts college, the College motto is, “Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth
to apply wisdom in service.” During Founders Day Spring Celebration weekend, the College will celebrate its
156th birthday and 101st year in Montgomery.
Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing
1500 East Fairview Avenue • Montgomery, Alabama 36106
Office: (334) 833-4515 • Cell: (334) 324-6591