Most prominent and wealthiest among the immigrants was Count Lefebvre Desnouettes, who had been a cavalry officer with the rank of Lieutenant-General, under Napoleon. Other prominent figures among them included Lieutenant-General Baron Henri-Dominique Lallemand, Count Bertrand Clausel, Joseph Lakanal, Simon Chaudron, Pasqual Luciani, Colonel Jean-Jerome Cluis, Jean-Marie Chapron, Colonel Nicholas Raoul, and Frederic Ravesies. These French aristocrats and their comrades did not find pioneer life in Alabama to be favorably comparable to Parisian court life. Due to a variety of adversities, their pioneering efforts were not the great success for which they had hoped. Within a few months they were to find that their new homes did not fall under the territories encompassed by the congressional approval, and the Vine and Olive Colony was soon forced to move. According to local testimony, olive tree remnants of their efforts still survive in Demopolis, along with the name (Greek for “City of the People”) they gave their settlement.
1911-08-04 A lynch mob, unable to locate Richard Verge, an African American who was wanted in connection with the slaying of Vernon Tutt, a prominent (white) planter in the area, lynched Verge’s brother Sam, instead.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.5 square miles (32.3 km²), of which, 12.2 square miles (31.7 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (2.00%) is water.
There were 3,014 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 22.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 81.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,481, and the median income for a family was $35,752. Males had a median income of $37,206 versus $20,265 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,687. About 26.0% of families and 30.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.3% of those under age 18 and 21.1% of those age 65 or over.
Gaineswood is an antebellum historic house museum on the National Register of Historic Places and is a listed National Historic Landmark. It was built between 1843-61 in an asymmetrical Greek Revival style. It features domed ceilings, ornate plasterwork, columned rooms, and most of its original furnishings. Gaineswood is owned and operated by the Alabama Historical Commission.
Bluff Hall is an antebellum historic house museum on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1832 in the Federal style and modified in the 1840s to reflect the Greek Revival style. It is owned and operated by the Marengo County Historical Society.
The Laird Cottage/Geneva Mercer Museum is a restored 1870 residence with Greek Revival and Italianate style. It currently serves as the headquarters of the Marengo County Historical Society. This museum houses history exhibits and works of Geneva Mercer, a native artist and sculptor.
Other historic sites in Demopolis include White Bluff, the Demopolis Historic Business District, Demopolis Town Square, Lyon Hall, Ashe Cottage, the Curtis House, the Glover Mausoleum, and the Foscue-Whitfield House.