John McGee Parkman, Sturdivant Hall, Selma, AL – 1864




sturdivant-hall-selma-al-owned-by-john-mcgee-parkman_2 (1).jpg

John McGee Parkman had moved from Boston to Selma where he became a local bank president during the Civil War. He had purchased cotton stocks with the bank deposits. The soldiers had arrested him as the cotton stocks had plunged and the bank deposits had been lost. His friends had devised an escape from jail. They got a barrel of whiskey and got the guards drunk. Parkman then escaped the jail made a run for a boat hidden at the river where he was shot and drowned. They say his “ghost” now haunts The Sturdivant Hall. Ironically, a cousin of John McGee Parkman was Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who commanded America’s First regiment of 1,000 Black Americans during the Civil War (see previous page 2 of this blog for more details). The designer of the Sturdivant Hall was Thomas Helm Lee a cousin to General Robert E. Lee. Next door is a house that President Abraham Lincoln’s wife’s sister owned. Now Sturdivant Hall is a museum that is used for social events including weddings. Selma is where the “Bloody Sunday” march started with Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr. Mary Parkman Peabody participated in a restaurant sit in St. Augustine, FL and was jailed. Mary’s son was Gov. Chub Peabody of Mass.>

The ghost of John McGee Parkman story @ Sturdivant Hall:

Kathryn Tucker Windham [film] tells the ghost story of John Parkman who haunts beautiful Sturdivant Hall in Selma, Alabama


Kathryn Tucker Windham [film] tells the ghost story of John Parkman who haunts beautiful Sturdivant Hall in Selma, Alabama



john mcgee parkman live oak cemetery selma al 2.jpg

John McGee Parkman: The legendary “ruined banker” who still resides at Sturdivant Hall (his home in Selma). Legend has it that while serving time in the federal prison at Cahawba for poor investment of bank funds, Parkman attempted a daring escape with the aid of his friends. Legend has it that Mr. Parkman was either shot to death or drowned after diving into the Alabama river. Grave marker reads: “In Memory of John M. Parkman. Born January 12, 1838. Died May 23, 1867.”

His grave memorial:


This is the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, AL where in 1965 Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Young lead a march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama in a peaceful protest for Civil Rights to gain the right to vote for blacks.


2 Responses to “John McGee Parkman, Sturdivant Hall, Selma, AL – 1864”

  1. Harold Parkman Says:

    According to information I obtained many years ago from the Sturdivant Hall Museum, it was John’s father who first came to Selma in 1817, where John was born in 1838. His father was named Elias which makes him most likely a direct descendent of the first Parkman in America. The Elias Parkman house is located at Parkman Avenue and Tremont Street, the latter name being also the name of one of the oldest streets in Boston.

  2. Ghastly Von Gore Says:

    Reblogged this on Ghastly Girl : Paranormal News and commented:
    Geneology information on Sturdivant Hall found in our Alabama Database from those connected with the family!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: