We thought you might be interested in hearing about an item that we had on display as a loan from kind friends for almost two years. It is the Jefferson Davis pocket watch. The watch was used as barter when the ex-president was paroled from Fortress Monroe, Virginia in 1867.
Here is how it happened: After being released, Davis traveled to a small township, Lennoxville, which is outside Quebec, Canada. It was there that he traded the watch to a boot maker by the name of Robert Balfour in exchange for a pair of custom-made boots.
The watch was passed down through the Balfour family until their were no more heirs. The watch was then given by the last surviving family member to his next-door neighbors, the Courchenes.The watch later came on the market and our friends purchased it.
Jefferson Davis probably bought the watch sometime immediately before or during his Presidency of the Confederacy, but we really have no way to know. We do thank our benefactors so much for the loan of the watch. It was of great interest to our visitors. Please stay in touch and keep us posted on it’s whereabouts!