Many people do not know that Varina Howell Davis was Jefferson’s second wife but if you are a consistent reader of this blog you know that he was married first to Sarah Knox Taylor, the daughter of Zachery Taylor.
Unfortunately, Knox died after contracting malaria three months after she and Jefferson were married, while they were visiting Jefferson’s sister on her Locust Grove Plantation. Knox is buried in the Locust Grove Historical Cemetery in West Feliciana Parish, La. (see yesterday’s blog). The cemetery is tiny with 27 graves.
Dr. Benjamin Davis, brother of Jefferson Davis is buried here. It is a peaceful looking place. You can see pictures of it if you google Sarah Knox Taylor or Locust Grove Plantation. Her original grave was made of brick. Sometime after 1920 her grave was covered with stone and the engraving added.
This came about after an attempt by the United Confederate Veterans to remove her remains to a spot beside her husband in Richmond. I don’t think Varina would have liked that too much!
It is said that Jefferson had a miniature portrait of Sarah Knox with him when he was arrested. We have the miniature in our relic room at the First White House. I don’t know if the story is true or not, but the person who gave us the miniature, says that it is!