Happy New Year! The Davis family was not yet in the First White House as you know, in January of 1861. But Alabama seceded on January 11, 1861. South Carolina had gone first, on Dec. 20 1860. And when Mississippi seceded Jefferson Davis resigned his seat in the U.S. senate and returned to his plantation in Brierfield (January 21).
The States that had seceded met in Montgomery on February 4, and adopted a Provisional Constitution, then on Feb 8 chose Jefferson Davis as Provisional President and Alexander Stephens as Vice President. The Confederate states were thus born before Lincoln took office as President of the United States in March.
Davis received word of his election on February 10 and after accepting reluctantly he journey to Montgomery by riverboat and train, arriving on the 16th. He was inaugurated on the front portico of the Capitol on the 18th at 1:00 as Provisional President of the Confederate Stats of America.
On February 21, 1861 the Provisional Congress authorised the leasing of an Executive Mansion which we call today the First White House of the Confederacy..
2011 begins the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States as you know if you have been reading this blog. You can read all about it in William C. Davis' book, "A Government of Our Own".