Furnishings in the First White House of the Confederacy are of three types: they either belonged to the Davis family, were original to the House, or are of the 1850-1860 period.
In the center of the front hall is the Davis-Clitherall mahogany sofa, circa 1840. It belonged to President and Mrs. Davis and is said to have been in his office at the Capitol building in Montgomery. He probably purchased it locally, second-hand, (we call that :”previously loved”) after arriving in Montgomery, as the Davises were not known to have moved furniture from their Mississippi home.
When President Davis moved with his government to Richmond, he gave this sofa to his private secretary, Alexander Clitherall, which strongly suggest that the sofa was his personal property. Since its return to the First White House by Mr. Clitherall’s descendants, it has been placed in the hall directly beneath the portrait of Jefferson Davis. It is upholstered in a dark claret red velour fabric.