In the First White House we have an upstairs bedroom which we call “Mrs. Davis’ New York Bedroom”. Why, you may ask? A simple answer – the furniture came from the Majestic Hotel where Verina and Winnie lived after Jefferson Davis died.
Winnie, the youngest of the Davis’ six children was born June 27, 1864 in the Second White House in Richmond. She was hailed by devout southerners as the “Daughter of the Confederacy”. So proprietary were they that when she was being romanced by a young New York Attorney, a great hue and cry went up from all around Dixie Land.
Their 1890 engagement didn’t last long. Public furor may have ended it or it could have been financial. At any rate she never married. Judy Oliver, a Montgomery authoress of note has written a novel about Winnie, titled “Devotion”. It is a fascinating account of her life and I highly recommend it. We have it for sale in our gift shop.
Whenever I go in Mrs. Davis’ “New York Bedroom” I feel so nostalgic. Its as if Winne and Varina are going to walk in any moment and have afternoon tea. Won’t you come and visit us? Our receptionists will greet you warmly and you can take a self-guided tour through this wonderful and historic home and learn lots more about this fascinating family.