There is just something magical about the First White House of the Confederacy, because it is such a part of history – the history of the antebellum South and of course the War Between the States. I especially enjoy the Rear Hall and the President’s Study.
Originally a back porch when the house was built between 1832 and 1835, this area was enclosed when the rear serving pantries were added in 1857. While the Davises lived there, it was used as a reception hall and waiting area when the President received callers in his Study.
Many decisions of State were made in the Study. While a new government was being formed and war was eminent, there must have been pressing business day and night. But at the same time, reports were given that the White House sparkled as Mrs. Davis, eighteen years her husband’s junior, gave lively dinners, levees and teas, and held salons.
Contemporary writers used descriptions such as “stately dining”, brilliant receptions,” “held after the Washington custom,” and described those attending as: “the most brilliant, the most gallant, and the most honored of the South.”
I am sure the place was made even more lively by the rambunctious Davis children!