This morning we’re in Biloxi, Mississippi and ready to explore the home of Jefferson Davis!
Say what you will about the Confederacy or the motivations leading us into Civil War, but our nation was shaped by these events and ideas and they should never be forgotten.
Beauvoir is the home to the first and only president of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis.
Pre-war History of Jefferson Davis
Before the Confederacy existed, Jefferson Davis served six years as a lieutenant in the United States Army and fought in the Mexican-American War (1846 – 1848). As a result of his successes, he promoted to Colonel.
Following the war, Davis served as a member in the U.S. House of Representatives and was later elected as Mississippi’s Democratic Senator.
While serving in United States Senate, Davis took a brief role as the United states Secretary of War, before returning to the senate.
In 1861, Mississippi announced intentions to seceded from the Union.
Calling it “the saddest day of my life”, Jefferson delivered his farewell address to the U.S. Senate. He delivered a speech earlier against the idea of succeeding from the union.
More than half a year after his resignation, Jefferson Davis is elected to the full position of President of the Confederacy.
A Look Inside
Inside the home we receive a very informative tour! Hurricane Katrina destroyed some of the original artwork and glass, but it has been so beautifully restored, you can hardly tell.
Thank goodness for the strength of the infrastructure. Had it not been for the solid doors, they may have lost a majority of the furniture inside the house.
There are four rooms surrounding the larger entry room.
Throughout the tour we get a glimpse into Jefferson’s personal life.
Things were not easy for Jefferson and his family. He spent most of his life ill, recovering from on-again off-again bouts of malaria. A disease which killed his first wife after just several months of marriage.
Ten years after his first wife’s death, he married Varina. Together they had 6 children. Tragically, three of them passed away before they even became teenagers.
The tour guide mentions that the Davis family also took in and raised a slave boy as their own, until he was taken by the Union Army.
With a majority of Jefferson’s time out at war and serving in political seats, most of the living in the house was done by his wife Varina and their children.
It was explained that the mirror above our heads was used to “chaperone” their children when suitors were present. You can see the entire room using that mirror.
Exploring The Grounds
During the 1800’s, it was common for the kitchens to burn down, so they were typically detached from the house.
This lattice walkway from the kitchen to the house is called a whistle walk. It’s said that if you hear servants whistling in the walkway, they’re not eating your food as they bring it to you.
Deep in the property is a Confederate cemetery with 771 graves of Confederate veterans and their wives.
Can you believe how this tree is growing around this tombstone?
Here we have some of the old Confederate currency….
Bluegrass and Goats!
Have we mentioned the goats??
There’s a small batch of feedable goats and llamas
Can we resist? Of course not!!!
Coincidentally, we just happen to come on the day of the Bluegrass Festival and BBQ!.
Access to the festival is included in our ticket!
Local crafts and food!
Live Bluegrass music!
Wrapping up our visit, we head just outside the festival to enjoy sandwich lunches along the beach.
It’s tempting to visit our old tech school stomping grounds at Keesler AFB, but so is continuing south to even warmer weather! 🌞