This wonderful House Museum that the Jefferson Davis family lived in during the spring of 1861 is a visual reminder and important teaching tool of the American Civil War which split our country for four bloody years and cost 620,000 lives.
When asked about the causes of the war, here is what my predecessor Mrs. Napier said: “the crisis had been long in the making. The slave-holding South saw political and economic power slipping away to the ever-growing industrial North and farmers of the West. The immediate cause was whether slavery could expand westward, although disputes about unfair tariffs and trade practices played a role.”
After Lincoln’s election in November of 1860 seven Southern states seceded and later four others followed.
They met in Montgomery to establish the Confederate States of America on Feb 4, 1861 and we all know the rest of the story.
Davis and Yancey met in Montgomery on Feb 16 and Davis was inaugurated on the 18th. (that’s 150 years ago next week, dear readers!) March 4, the first Confederate flag was raised over the Alabama capitol by Letitia Tyler, granddaughter of former U.S. President John Tyler. Mrs. Davis arrived shortly after that by steamboat.
Other important dates: April 11 – Telegram sent from Montgomery to fire on Fort Sumter. April 1, firing begins and the War starts. On May 27, 1861 the Confederate capital moved to Richmond. I have mentioned before that William C. Davis’ book A Government of Their Own – The Making of the Confederacy is an excellent book to read about the happenings in Montgomery. And I am excited about what all is going on next week. I will write about it tomorrow.