The rooms in the First White House are roped off, except for the Relic Room where you can walk in and see a variety of items in museum cases. We have copies of original letters and copies of photographs, the originals of which are stored for purposes of conservation.
Most of the personal items of President and Mrs. Davis and their family were donated by Mrs. Davis and her daughter Margaret to the First White House collection. In case # 1 are a group of three letters from Margaret to the first Regent of the White House. Also a handsome sterling silver and paste diamond lorgnette on a long chain, and a beautifully made little mother-of-pearl box with slanted top to hold an ink bottle. Both of these items belonged to Mrs. Davis.
There is also a letter to Mrs. Beale, our Regent, singed by “Varina Jefferson Davis” from Mrs. Davis’s summer residence in Montpelier, Vermont, dated 31 July, 1899.
In case # 2 are articles of clothing worn by Mrs. Davis and her daughter Margaret. These articles of clothing were among the Davis family treasures sold in Colorado Springs Colorado, by the estate of William Hayes, a grandson of President Davis.
I’ll tell you about cases # 3 and 4 tomorrow!