NewSouth author and preeminent local historian Mary Ann Neeley is receiving high praise from fellow historians and was recently featured in a Montgomery Advertiser article surrounding the publication of her newest work, The Works of Matthew Blue, Montgomery’s First Historian, a landmark volume about the early days of Montgomery, Alabama.
The Montgomery Advertiser Teri Greene noted Neeley’s passion for and devotion to the history of her hometown of Montgomery. “This is what happens when two passionate Montgomery historians—separated by more than a century—join forces,” she said. “A new book, one that some are calling a landmark volume, is created, merging a distant past with a modern city.”
The newspaper’s not the only one heaping praise on Neeley’s work. The Works of Matthew Blue remains “the single most important source of information we have on early Montgomery,” according to Dr. Ed Bridges, director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, who provided the introduction to the book.
Painstakingly researched, edited, and annotated by Neeley, The Works of Matthew Blue is ten years in the making. It comes complete with the 1878 City Directory of Montgomery, Matthew Blue’s other writings about early churches, and the genealogy of the colorful Blue family, plus a Civil War diary by Blue’s sister, Ellen. This new volume includes 183 nineteenth-century photographs and maps; a detailed index; and a profile of Matthew Blue, written by Neeley.