Perusing W.C.(Jack) Davis’s book “A Government of Our Own“ I was interested in the chapter that is titled Farewell Montgomery. As you know the Davis family was only in the First White House for a few short months, but Varina made the most of it.
Jack says that much of the new society in Montgomery looked to the First Family to set the tone for the rest. If left to the President they would look in vain, but Varina thrived on social life. She planned her first reception for April 30th. Despite the oppressive heat, scores of people attended.
Many already knew the First Lady but some did not. “I haven’t made up my mind whether I shall like her or not” Charlotte Wigfall wrote of Varina. But then Charlotte, born to wealth in New England and raised in Charleston, came from two cultures that never really approved of anyone outside their own circles!!!
Most folks really took to Varina. She had her home aglow with wax candles, flowers in bouquets and vases everywhere, and a tasteful display of furniture thanks to the last minute loan of some pieces from Sophia Bibb. Davis goes on to say “Varina herself met guests in a silk brocade gown with wide sleeves and if some thought her faintly haughty, none found her less than cordial”!!!
Hey, our First Lady was a winner – Go Girl!!!