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  • Writer's pictureJeff Epps

Heritage Travel Campaign-Part 22 (Jefferson Davis Presidential Library & Museum)

Part 22 of my "Heritage" travel campaign.

I headed south from Vicksburg and explored Biloxi, while stopping by a very controversial, but yet a very prominent place that highlights the life and post-American Civil War residence of West Point graduate (1824-28) U.S. soldier (1825-35, 1846-47), U.S. congressman (Representative, 1845-46, and Senator, 1857-61), U.S. Secretary of War (1853-57) and President of the Confederate States of America (1861-65), Jefferson Davis.

Jefferson Davis fought in the Mexican-American War (1846-48) as a colonel.

The Beauvoir estate was built in 1848 and covers about 52 acres of land.

It is designated with the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, as well as marked a U.S. National Historic Landmark and a Mississippi Landmark.

Jefferson Davis lived in the Beauvoir house from 1876 unit his death in 1889.

During this time, Davis wrote his famous memoirs, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, which is available for purchase online:

The Beauvoir estate was a popular place for Confederate veterans, whom for decades visited the estate to greet Davis and his family and other veterans, and to even stay for different periods of time and to attend reunions. It was a welcoming place for all Southerners, especially ones who fought for the Confederacy under Davis' leadership.

In 1902, Davis' daughter, Varina Howell Davis, sold much of the Beauvoir estate to the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which owns and operates the property to this day. The organization, after acquiring partial ownership of the property, turned the estate into a home for Confederate veterans and their widows and built a memorial to Jefferson Davis.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans organization built dozens of buildings on the property that included barracks, a hospital, and chapel.

From 1903 to 1957, about 2,500 Confederate veterans and their families lived at Beauvoir estate, and many of them are buried at the Confederate cemetery on the same grounds.

Today, the Beauvoir estate includes the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library & Museum, which has artifacts from Davis and others, along with a Confederate soldier exhibit and library with a library of books on Southern history and culture. The estate also includes the Beauvoir house, where Davis and his family lived, a Confederate cemetery with Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier, a botanical garden, along with other notable sites.

The State of Mississippi allocates $100,000/year to the Beauvoir estate.

The Beauvoir estate emphasizes the Southern perspective of the American Civil War.


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