Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sliver Bowl Belonging to Mrs. Jefferson Davis...

 A beautiful silver bowl once belonging to Mrs. Jefferson Davis is being auctioned on June 8. Here is the provenance on it:
Jefferson Davis: An Exceptional Samuel Kirk & Son Castellated Repousse Coin Silver Bowl Presented to Mrs. Jefferson Davis by the Citizens of Macon, Georgia. Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis traveled to Macon, Georgia in October 1887 with his wife, Varina Howell Davis and his daughters, Varina Davis Hayes and Winnie Davis, to attend the Georgia State Fair and a Confederate veteran's reunion. Arriving by special train on October 25, 1887 the Davis family was taken to the fairgrounds by carriage. There, the citizens of Macon presented Mrs. Davis with this large silver bowl. The five-thousand Confederate veterans marched past the aging Davis and he tearfully took their salute. Jefferson Davis would die in 1889.

The magnificent bowl is beautifully executed in the meticulous "Repousse" pattern made famous by the Baltimore silversmiths at Samuel Kirk & Son. Each inch of the bowl is hand chased and the top has a very distinctive castellated rim. It measures 7.25 inches high and 9.25 inches in diameter. The bottom is marked "S. Kirk& Son" and "11oz" which denotes the purity of 91.66, and not the weight. The underside of the bottom rim reads, "Mrs. Jefferson Davis from the Citizens of Macon Ga. Oct. 25, 1887". This bowl had an honored place in the Davis home until it was inherited by Jefferson Davis' daughter Varina Howell Davis Hayes. This and the other Davis family silver pieces were obtained directly from lineal descendants of Jefferson Davis and Varina Howell Davis.
Estimate: $4,000 - up.
And here is the picture: Doesn't this look like something the First White House of the Confederacy should have? If you would like to get a nice tax deduction you can purchase it and present it to the FWH  and we will provide you with a great tax write-off.
If you are interested please contact me, Anne Tidmore at the FWH number 334-242-1861 or email me at the White House website.
Even if you don't want to donate the whole thing you can make a pledge toward helping us if you wish to. We 're a 501c3 organization and your gift is tax deductible. You can do that through pay pal on our "get involved" button on our website at www.firstwhitehouse.org  - and we will thank you in advance!!!

Military & Patriotic:Civil War, Jefferson Davis: An Exceptional Samuel Kirk & Son CastellatedRepousse Coin Silver Bowl Presented to Mrs. Jefferson Davis by t...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Article About "An Evening With Winston Groom"

There is a great article in the Montgomery Advertiser today, Sunday, May 26th, 2013 about the Evening With Winston Groom fundraiser held on May 2nd by the White House Association to raise money for the First White House of the Confederacy. I think you will enjoy both the article and the pictures! Deborah Moore, writer of "Southern Hospitality" for the Advertiser always does an outstanding job! We are so grateful to her for this wonderful publicity. Our goal is to keep the First White House on the "map" so that people will remember to come visit. When they come, they learn and our purpose is to "educate, educate, educate".

To view article click on this link:


To view photos click on this link:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Katherine Mason Rowland, A Famous Southern Woman

In the March 2013 issue of the United Daughters of Confederacy magazine, my attention was drawn to  story by Hilda Hill Bradberry on Katherine Mason Rowland, great great great niece of Virginia's George Mason.
When war broke out both her brothers joined the 17th Virginia Regiments and Kate and her mother were nurses in Warrenton, Lynchburg and finally Winder hospital.Post war, finding their home confiscated and funds limited, her mother and she and her sister moved to Baltimore where they became active in various Ladies Memorial Societies.
She was in the forefront of the early local UDC organizations, and in that capacity she presented a resolution to annually celebrate June 3, the birthday of Jefferson Davis as a holiday.
She also presented a resolution recommending "War Between the States" as the correct and only name for the conflict of 1861-1865. It was adopted at the 1899 General Convention. she also urged the UDC's use of the correct name Virginia for the Confederate ironclad that was originally the Union ship Merrimac.
Virtually forgotten, this woman did alot of good things in her lifetime!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mary Custis Lee Connection to First White House

Are you wondering what the connection between Mary Custis Lee, eldest daughter of Robert E. Lee has to do with the First White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery, Alabama? Simple: we have been given a beautiful Secretary/Desk/Bookcase that once belonged to her.
This intrigued me to search the Internet to find out more about her. Are you ready for this? She was born in 1835 and shared a bedroom with her mother's young cousin, Martha Custis "Markie" Williams. She was away from Arlington much of the time on extended visits to friends and relatives.
She grew into an attractive young woman who had beaus who courted her but she never married. I wonder if it was because of the war coming when it did? After the death of her grandmother in 1853 it was not Mary, but Markie who came to Arlington to take care of George Washington Parke Custis when Mrs. Lee had to be away with her husband.
The site I read said she was regarded by her sisters as bossy and self absorbed. In her later years she traveled almost full time. She filled a scrapbook with visiting cards of European and Middle Eastern nobility and was in Germany when World War I began. She died in 1918.
The Secretary that once belonged to her is one of our prize possesions and has been placed in the President's study, close by the entrance for all to see and enjoy!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

War Landmark Morphing into Hotel

The Montgomery Advertiser reported on May 14 that the Winter Building, at Court Square in downtown Montgomery, would soon become a hotel. This is of course the building from which the telegram was sent which began the War Between the States.
The telegram, sent on April 11, 1861, was addressed to General Beauregard in Charleston, and came from L.P. Walker, Secretary of War for the CSA. It said: "Do not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumter. if Major Anderson will state the time at which, as indicated by him, he will evacuate, and agree that in the meantime he will not use his guns against us ...you are thus authorized to avoid the effusion of blood. If this or its equivalent be refused, reduce the fort as your judgement decides to be most practicable".
We all know what happened = the Union forces refused to leave peacefully and the next day, April 12, 1`861 the first shot of the War Between the States was fired, and the bloodiest war in American history began.
It will be great to see this historic building saved, and we wish the developers well.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Getting Involved"

If you want to get involved financially with the First White House of the Confederacy, we now have a new, easy way for you to do so. Just go to our website www.firstwhitehouse.org and click on "get involved". There you can make a donation by either credit card or paypal account. Isn't that just too cool?
In today's Montgomery Independent the Whirl section has a fine article and pictures from our recent "Evening With Winston Groom" event. We hope to soon have that posted on our website as well.
Lots going on at the First White House. School children tours are about to come to an end for the spring season, but we will have lots of tourists from all over the US visit us this summer. We treasure each and every visitor and hope that they have a pleasant experience when they come. We have the House as much like it was when the Davis family lived in it as we can. Won't you come and visit us soon? If unable to do so, then take a moment and tour our website.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Exciting Things Happening At First White House

Here it is the middle of May and now that the bi-annual fundraiser is over we are busy planning the 205th  birthday commemoration for Jefferson Davis, only President of the Confederate States of America. He was born June 3rd, 1808 and died December 6, 1889 at the age of 81.
Our speaker this year will be Jay Hinton, a longtime friend of the First White House. We will serve birthday cake and the White House Association ladies will "man" their rooms for brief tours afterwards for our guests.
If you go to our website www.firstwhitehouse.org you can see past JD birthday events as well as our birthday celebrations for Robert E. Lee held each January 19th.  Also, under "get involved" we now have our pay pal opportunities for folks to donate online.
Also, remember to check our facebook page "The First White House of the Confederacy for additonal information and pictures of the recent Winston Groom evening. Social media is a wonderful way to promote the First White House! Lets take full advantage of it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Emma Sanson, Young Alabama Heroine

On April 25th I wrote about Union Colonel Streight's raid into Alabama being a disaster. This was thanks in great part to the daring courage of a young Alabama farm girl. Don't you just love a good story? Especially a true one! Here is what happened...
Streight arrived just outside of Gadsden and prepared to cross Black Creek, which was swollen due to rain. He thought if he destroyed the only bridge he could outmaneuver Forrest. Seeing the Sanson farmhouse, he demanded some smoldering coal, which he used to burn the bridge.
When Forrest arrived and saw the burned out bridge, he and his men also rode to the nearby Sanson house and asked if there was another bridge. 'Two miles away" said 15 year old Emma.
 "Is there a place where we can get across the creek", asked Forrest. Emma said she would show them if he would saddle a horse. "No time to wait" said Forrest, and asked her to get on his horse behind him. Emma sprang up behind him, and against her mother's objection, directed the General where he could cross the river.
After taking Emma back to her home, Forrest continue his pursuit of Streight. Her heroism is noteworthy in that openly aiding Confederate forces could have resulted in her and her family's prosecution or even death from the Union army, according to Wikipedia.
Sanson married Christopher Johnson in 1864 (at age 16) and moved to Texas in late 1876 or 77. They had 7 children. She died in Upshur County, Texas and is buried in Little Mound Cemetery. There is a monument in honor of her heroism in Gadsden, and also an Emma Sanson Middle School.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

An Evening With Winston Groom

Thursday evening, May 2nd 2013, the White House Association sponsored their long awaited  Evening With Winston Groom, as a fundraiser for the First White House of the Confederacy, with an estimated attendance of 160 plus, enthusiastic supporters enjoying the reception and talk by the celebrated author of Forrest Gump.
Winston is handsome, personable and a delightful speaker. He enthralled his audience with episodes from his recent book, Shiloh, 1862. This bloody battle, early in the war, was a wake-up call  with 12,000 casualties  on either side, that it would not be over by Christmas. I guess you might say it was the end of the age of innocence about The War. With names like the "hornet's nest" and the "sunken road" we can only imagine the carnage.
The battle was full of ironies. The great and good Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston bled to death during the first day, when his artery was severed and he had  sent his doctor away to see about wounded Union soldiers. Beauregard then failed to press their advantage. Napoleonic tactics were employed when modern weaponry was being used, resulting in man after man falling.
Mr. Groom answered questions to the delight of the audience. His next book is about 3 World War I aviators. I am sure that everyone who heard him discuss it will be eager to purchase it. The people from Capitol Book & News sold out of his books that they had brought, and Winston signed books until the evening was over.
A great time was had by all, and the First White House was the beneficiary of the generosity of the community and of supporters from as far away as Florida, Virginia and Texas. Thanks to all who responded with donations!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Words of Great Wisdom By Jefferson Davis

Visitors to the First White House were kind enough to send us a lovely letter, a beautiful book and a booklet titled Jefferson Davis The Unreconstructed by Dr. H. Rondel Rumburg. It was written to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of his birth. It is certainly something we should order and sell in the First White House gift shop.
The very first page gabbed my attention as Dr. Rumburg says" One finds the following passages written on a blank page in the front of the Bible Jefferson Davis used while a prisoner at Fort Monroe. These passages had great meaning for him."
"In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them" Isaiah 63:9.
"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten son into the world, that we might live through Him" I John 4:9.
"And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" Rev. 29:17.
Amazing words from a man who suffered much but showed great faith and fortitude. Dr. Rumburg says in his preface" Jefferson Davis the Unreconstructed is an apt description of a Christian gentleman without compromise of principle."