Last evening, February 16, 2011, the long-awaited event commemorating the meeting between Davis and Yancey took place at the Dept of Archives and History building in the Montgomery, Alabama capitol complex which is next door to the First White House of the Confederacy. The White House Association co-sponsored the event with the Archives and we were so happy to do so.
Over one hundred interested history buffs eagerly entered the beautiful auditorium anxiously awaiting the address by Dr. Ralph Draughon, Jr. of Auburn, Alabama, a noted historian. The huge screen portrayed the crowd that had gathered at the Exchange Hotel when Jefferson Davis arrived and made brief remarks the evening of February 16, 1861, followed by William Lowndes Yancey who “brought down the house”. with his own passionate address..
Dr. Draughon made a splendid talk, telling us the background of the term of the term “man and the hour”. I had always thought Yancey coined the phrase, but Dr. Draughon told us that it was Sir Walter Scott that had used it, so it was not an unfamiliar concept to those hanging onto Yancey’s every word.
Dr. Draughon used a football analogy. The team were the Confederates, the new coach Jefferson Davis, and. Yancey, the head cheerleader. Dr. D. reported that Yancey did his job to perfection, and I definately think Yancey would have been very pleased to hear Dr. Draughon’s fascinating re-enactment of the speech!!!
To add icing to the cake, so to speak, the great-great grandson of Yancey and two great-great granddaughters were guests of Dr. Draughon, and everyone enjoyed meeting them during the reception. Also the Jefferson Davis punch was served and many wanted the recepie which was on the blog 12/29/10, printed with the permission of Bertram Hayes-Davis, great-great grandson of Jefferson Davis. Anyway, a great time was had by all last night and we all learned alot in the process of having fun!!! Isn’t that what learning is all about?
Many thanks to Anne Feathers for orchestrating the reception and for the White House ladies who brought food. The crowd enjoyed each and every delicious bite, as well as the punch.