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Barbour County was formed from part of Pike County and former Muscogee homelands on December 18, 1832. The colony of British West Florida was in Barbour County between 1763-1783. The new United States of America took over the area after 1783. The Muscogee Creek Confederacy was expelled to territory west of the Mississippi River. Southern migrants developed the fertile land as large cotton plantations that were dependent on slave labor. Alarge number of slaves meant that the population became majority black within a few years. This trend has continued for many decades. The 21st century has a small white majority in the population, but more than 46% are black, leading to highly competitive politics.
In 1833, Louisville became the first Barbour County seat. After an eleven-member committee chose Clayton due to its central geographical location, the county seat was moved in 1834. Its boundaries were changed in 1866 and 1868. Near Comer was the Election Riot of 1874.
In the 1870s, Eufaula was larger than Clayton. This sparked debate over whether the county seat should move to the county's economic center or stay at its geographical center. The legislature reached a compromise and passed Act No. Act No. 106 was passed on February 12, 1879, to create county courts in Clayton and Eufaula. Two county courthouses still operate today in Barbour County.