Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Beauvoir

"What a beautiful view!"

We toured an antebellum house that belonged to Jefferson Davis while on vacation in Mississippi.  I was pretty excited because I love history, especially the fashion and design of that time (although I would have died wearing so many layers in that heat).





Construction on Beauvoir was started in 1848 and completed in 1852.  The original owner was a wealthy businessman.  After he passed away, his wife sold the property in 1873 when she could no longer afford the property taxes.  The second owner, Sarah Dorsey, was a socialite from New Orleans who purchased the property 'Site unseen'.  When she arrived on the property and opened the front door over looking the Gulf of Mexico, she exclaimed, "Beauvoir!"  Hence the name.


In 1877, Ms Dorsey heard that Mr. Davis was looking for a quiet place to rent in order to write his memoirs.

She offered to rent her library house to him.

(The original library building was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and had to be rebuilt.)

She eventually sells Jefferson Davis the property (in three installments) and moves back to New Orleans.  After she receives the first installment, she revises her will and forgives Davis the last two installments.



(The ceiling were hand painted to look as though there was real wood trim / mouldings on the ceiling.)

Mr. Davis lived there until his death in 1889 at the age of 81. The property was willed to his daughter, Winnie, who then died from Yellow Fever in 1898.  The property then belonged to Mrs. Davis.

(A view of the back of the house.)


The top photo above is standing at the back gate looking through the garden toward the back of the house.

Mrs. Davis then sells the home in 1903 to the fourth and current owner, Mississippi Division of Sons of the Confederate Veterans with 2 stipulations::

1.  The home (and various buildings on the property) would be used as a retirement home for Confederate veterans, wives, and widows of veterans.

2.  Once the last veteran or wife leaves there, the property would become a shrine to Jefferson Davis.


The cemetery for Confederate soldiers and their wives is toward the back of the property.



Those top two images??  Wow!  That is the resting place of Samuel David, father of Jefferson Davis,  who is a veteran of the Revolutionary War!!

My daughter and I then took the path that lead us to the front doors of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library.  There were so many treasures and pieces of memorabilia there from the Civil War era.


It was such a fascinating day, especially since we love history!  Stepping back in history has almost been a love of mine.

The next post is about the amazing, out-to-sea excursion I took with three of the kids.  Can hardly wait to show you what we saw there. :)

Until then, you can enjoy our Gulf Coast vacation beach pictures here.

~  Patty  ~


4 comments:

  1. So glad to see pics of this place. I took my kids there back in 1995 and I'm glad to see it survived Katrina. It is a very interesting place. I could sit on that porch and rock all day long.

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    1. They said it took 4 years to clean it up; repaint, repair the furniture, etc. But the furnishings are 80% authentic and the structure (minus the glass windows) are original. I still cannot imagine living there in that extreme heat/humidity.

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  2. Very cool to see (and learn)! Can't wait to see the other pictures. Sounds like it was a wonderful trip

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  3. From that top picture you can see how much the coast changed over the years, probably mostly from Katrina. Still can't believe what survived from the hurricane.

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