tv American Artifacts White House of the Confederacy Part 2 CSPAN July 28, 2018 1:09pm-1:38pm EDT
to talk about a surrender of the confederate government or an end to the war. campbell saw the writing on the wall. he knew the war was almost over. that was part one of a two-part look of the white house of the confederacy. >> during the civil war, jefferson davis and his family lived in this mansion in richmond, virginia. in the second of a two-part tour --the sum, the night -- of two-part tour, dean knight -- hout it is -- how it is preserved and restored. 1865, int: april 4, him lincoln was here. the union army took over the city and the house on the
morning of april 3. abraham lincoln was here april 4. he came through the front doors. five days after, general lee surrendered his army at appomattox. on april 14, lincoln was shot in for the posterior -- in ford's leader in washington, d.c. turned this house into union army headquarters an. the union army took good care of this house. this was their home and headquarters for almost five years. in the first week or two of occupation, things were different. officers and shoulders were coming and going. they were taking souvenirs. they were sleeping on the floors and chairs. it was chaotic the first couple of weeks. after thing settled down, this was lived in by a
secession of u.s. army generals. virginia was remitted into the united states. this house went back to the city of richmond. the federal army left. the city sold everything in this house in 1870 and turned it into a school. this was a school for 20 years. that is when it suffered damage. not during the war, u.s. army occupation, but a school. the city wanted to tear it down being a years after school. it was saved by demolition by a group of women in town. a group originally formed as a hollywood memorial association preserving federal grace in hollywood cemetery's. these ladies reformed into the confederate memorial literary society.
they took over the house. they fixed it up. they opened this building as a museum in 1896. then. not look like this in 1896 when this open, it was the confederate museum. you walked around, each room was dedicated to a southern state and you had artifacts related to the state. in 1976, the main museum -- this was shut down for extensive restoration. this is a restored -- is a historic home. hassame group of people owned it since the 1890's. the second floor of this house was private living space. this house is no exception.
and children lived on the second floor. the second floor is not as exciting as the first. there were not trying to impress as much. you will see furnishings older, cleaner, less expensive, little behind the fashions of the day. the people who came up. where the davis family, davis' private secretary, slaves, servants, and officials. this is the office for burton harrison, davis' private secretary. those on private business to see harrison here. or when youide if would see davis in the home office. he was a young man from louisiana. he taught math at the university of mississippi. asbegan his appointment
jefferson davis' private secretary in 1862. davis had a secretary the first year of the war. the relationship did not seem to work as well. here center dot a well -- harrison got along well with davis and his family. he became like a member of the family. harrison remained in touch with in one measure and how close harrison was with the --ily and how trusted he was 36 hours before he evacuated richmond. he sent them in the care of her in harrison. he trusted -- of burton harrison. he trusted him.
we do not know much about the third floor. burton harrison lived up there. there was guest room and space up there. we know mrs. harrison gave birth once up there. we do not take groups up there. wallpaper.imulation it may look like the sort of thing you buy at target. you can. this was fashionable in the 1850's and 1860's. this is an exact reproduction of what was here. visitors who were lucky enough to see jefferson davis and his home office would be able to come back here. this is jeffrey davis' home office. this was a bedroom when he moved into this house. it seems one of the first things he did when he got here was convert it into a home office. as we mentioned earlier, this house was meant to be for residents. turned some of it into
working space. his executive office was in a different building. it was south of the virginia state capitol in a building that is still there today. today, the building is the federal court of appeals for the fourth circuit. during the war, it house jefferson davis' executive office, the confederate state department, and the confederate treasury department. an important building for the confederate government, davis spent a great deal of time here. davis worked a great deal. davis was what we would cut a micromanager and a workaholic. he was also an insomniac. he worked long, hard hours on most every single day. went to the u.s. military academy at west point. it was not his idea. to turn to seem
careers in the law. his brother was influential in his life. after their father died, his brother almost took over as his father figure. davis went to west point. he did not establish himself at west point. his grades were not great. he graduated and entered the army. he served seven years in the united states army as a young officer. like many young, ambitious men, 1820'stually left in the -- left. in the 1820's, the army was static. he left because he was an of vicious man -- an ambitious man. woman.o left because of a
zachary taylor do not want his daughters marrying military men. davis resigned from the army and married knoxy, as she was called. she died three months later of malaria. he was devastated by her death and retired to his plantation in mississippi. he spent eight years working on the plantation. also, developing a strong interest in politics. he started getting involved in mississippi politics, then entering the national stage. in 1845, he was elected to the u.s. house of representatives. the next year, the mexican war began. davis was conflicted, not about the war, he was supporting the war politically and present polk.
he did not know if he should join the war or stay in congress. he decided to leave congress. he was elected colonel in a volunteer regiment. he left that regiment in combat in mexico. he saw battles and gained national fame due to his actions at one of the step -- at beuna vista. he came back a war hero. after his return, became a united states senator. an opening coincided with his triumphant return home propelled him into the national spotlight. he left the senate a few years later to make a run for the governor of mississippi. he entered the race late and lost it narrowly, 999 votes.
he was out of politics, but not long. on franklin pierce was elected, he chose davis to be his secretary of war. that is a position he held through the administration. job. redefined the the men who held the -- help it before him had been secretaries. jefferson davis took over and was a powerful secretary of war. date pierce --he office --erce left he was in the last contentious and 1860's.0's in january 1861, he was a you a sitting senator, one of the most prominent.
he was one of the best-known men in the united states. he was known throughout the country, north, south, and west. he was respected. he had friends and allies that the country, not just in the south. he was in the mainstream of american political life. he did not come out of nowhere. he was not on the fringes of politics. he was in the thick of it through the 1850's, a very well-known man. -- while he was -- he got a --egram from the the telegram told him he was chosen to serve a one-year provisional term as president of the brand-new confederate states of america. davis accepted. he moved to montgomery. he moved to richmond when the k near.
he was elected for a six-year term. - we do not have a lot of specific information about how often he's this office. we think he used this office s,re in the evening sometimes when he was not feeling well. he had a lot of health problems. there were times when he did not leave the house. severe illness did not stop him from working. neurologist -- neuralgia -- he had
recurrent bouts of larry and ammonia. hip problems with bronchitis and -- he had problems with ron crider's and -- with bronchitis and arthritis. he was not in good shape. sometimes, i wonder if those health problems helped him become president rather than becoming a general. it seems as though he would not have been well-suited for a military role. this office would have seen a lot of work by jefferson davis. he spent a lot of time here. this table is an original. this is one he used for the first year, year and half of the war. he traded it with someone for a proper desk. we do not have the desk. a direct has connection to jefferson davis. was used byd chair davis in the other office.
while we look at the desk, this is an interesting piece. this is a reproduction. there are very few of these left. it is a fake piece of coal. it is hollow. you can see the whole. -- the hole. you fill it up with gunpowder. you see a little and you put resin on it and cover it in cold us. you put into your enemy's coal supply. enemy goesthe p, and it explodes. came, sided with the
confederacy. .his is an extension cord it is for gas. these are gas powered chandeliers. hoses encaseder in campus. they would use these to distribute gas from it to lower-level desk lamps like this. many people characterized him him not entirely flattering terms. he is called the sphinx of the confederacy. people cannot understand what he was thinking. -- with other white, political men, he could
be quite adversarial, especially with those he did not agree with. his wife is probably the best observer of him. she has good quotes about him. one of them is if anyone disagrees with mr. davis, he resents it. this is his wife talking. , my husbando said does not understand the art of politics and would not practice them if understood. that relates to what i was saying earlier. was aclear davis top-notch u.s. secretary of war. what she was getting at was he did not clear dust in a care for the politicking. he was not that kind of man.
he was not the kind of politician. he did not do it. i hope that gives some feeling leastis' character, at out of the arena with other men. it is clear with people considered his social inferiors, women, children, black people, he was very generous, kind, tolerant, indulgent, even. other men come he could be sharp. our next room is the bedroom. it was shared by jefferson davis and his wife. that was little unusual for this time period because it wealthy married couple would tend to have a separate beds and bedrooms. as we have seen, jefferson davis converted the other bedroom to
his office. so he and his wife shared this office and this bed. the mattress is modern. the bed is the original. ms. davis was an interesting woman. her full maiden name was farina banks howell. was 18 years younger than her husband. when they got married he was -- she was 18 and he was 36. she was independent-minded. possibleeducated as for mid century american woman. she was sharp tongued at times. she had more friends than enemies. this is her room off to the side. room or it as a sitting a dressing room or reading and writing room. we have an original writing desk of her. she wrote quite a bit of a especially later in her life.
after jefferson davis died in 1889 at the age of 81, mrs. davis moved to new york city. she signed a contract with joseph pulitzer to provide him with newspaper columns and for the last 16 years of her life, she lived in a hotel in manhattan writing newspaper columns for the new york world. she died in new york in 1906 at the age of 80. this painting is a pretty interesting one, somewhat for what it is. what it is is the archangel michael expelling lucifer from heaven. we think it dates to 1517. towas said to have given jefferson davis by pope pius the ninth. thate not quite sure about . we have not been able to find the smoking gun document to prove that. but what we do know is that jefferson davis and pope pius the ninth correspondent during
the war. -- corresponded during the war. letter to the a archbishops of new york and new orleans trying to get them to use influence to mediate an end of the war. the letter became public and jefferson davis and others read it, and davis wrote a letter to the pope and september 1860 three, trying to enlist the pope's sympathy and support for the confederacy. the pope wrote back to jefferson 1863.in december the museum owns that letter here and we have it on display. although some on the confederate side interpreted it as more or less recognition of the confederacy by the pope, it was really not that there it was a nice diplomatic note, a friendly one, but that is all it was. neither the pope or any other theign leader recognized
confederacy. jefferson davis had another angle in writing to the pope. he would've taken recognition is he also knew, and remember this is 1863, well more than two years after fighting. a lot of men serving in the union armies were not americans, they were europeans. i read one conservative estimate of 400 thousand europeans serving in the union army throughout the four years of the war. what davis and many others knew was that most europeans were catholic. they were coming from the poorer sections of europe that were heavily catholic in parts of germany. i think davis and the secretary of state or maybe hoping that noteope writing a friendly to the confederacy and leaning toward the confederacy expressing sympathy might help sway some catholics from joining the union army.
it does not seem to have worked, but it was a shot. the next shot was the nursery -- the next room is the nursery. when they moved in, they had three young children. maggie was six, jefferson davis junior, who was four and joe who was two. mrs. davis was pregnant when they moved in. she gave birth in december 1861 upstairs. their first child, samuel, had died in 1854, ready for his second birthday. he never saw this house. these were young, wild kids by all accounts. the wildest was certainly jefferson davis junior. we have a couple of his things in this room. this is one of them. it is a fully functioning canon. it was a real canon eared he had several confederate army uniforms. that is one over there. would put a uniform on and take the canon out the back and
set up targets that he would call yankees and he would shoot them with the canon. jefferson davis junior and his brother joseph were in a street game called the shockoe hill cats. this house was on top of shockoe hill and it was a wealthy, urban neighborhood at the time. these were the rich kids in this gang. down the hill was a less wealthy urban residential area called butcher town. that was the home turf of the butcher cats, the arch enemies of the hill cats. these two gangs would fight each other all of the time. point, jefferson davis himself walked down the hill trying to work out a truce between the two gangs. he was tired of his sons coming home bruised and bloodied from getting worse. he gathered the butcher cats down and gave them a speech and call them the future rulers of their country and tried to get them to stop fighting and put aside their differences.
they listened to him politely and once it up and said president, we like you. we didn't want to hurt any of your boys but we ate never going to be friends with any hill cats . davis turned around and walked up the hill. as his walk -- wife walked -- wrote later, he didn't ask -- push anything except an exhausting work. wild kids. unfortunately, the boys did not live long. jefferson davis junior died at 21 from yellow fever. oneph died in this room april 30, 18 64. joseph was playing around on the eastern portico and he fell off of it. , and he 15 foot drop hit his head and he was found still alive and carried up to this room and he died here and our later at the age of five. the two girls did better. be 34.and live to
she died from applications from malaria. maggie died at 54 and she was the only one to survive both carrots, although barely. she died in 1909, 3 years after her mother's death. maggie was the only one to get married and have children. she married a man named joel addison hayes. they moved to colorado springs in 1880. at several children. one changed his name from hayes to hayes davis in honor of jefferson davis. today, there are direct descendents of jefferson davis and some of them still bear the name hayes davis. jefferson davis spent two years in prison in hampton, virginia. he was released in may 18 6700 of habeas corpus. of habeasd -- a writ corpus. the trial was postponed and eventually dropped.
although he had been indicted for treason he was ultimately never tried. he spent time in canada, in montreal and lenox hill, kobach. -- quebec. he spent time in europe and france. he was in memphis, tennessee for a few years at the president of an insurance company. he removed himself from the company and moved to the gulf coast of mississippi to a plantation. he wrote a very long book called the rise and fall of the confederate government, and settled into retirement. he spent the last 12 years in his life at the plantation and died at the age of 81. back in richmond. his habeas corpus hearing was in richmond, ironically not only in the former capital but in the building that housed his former executive office. for the war, it had been a post office and a customs house.
after the war, it was a federal courthouse. that is where the hearing was thathe was back here at time and at least one other time , although he never returned to the front. we are a museum and a research library. we have that function and it is very important for many of our guests. are academicss who are doing research in the museum right there. for the average visitor, that is the most important thing to me as a guide. that is what i want to hear when someone takes my to her and they say i want to read more about this, and i feel good and feel like i have done my job. of a two-partcond look at the white house confederacy. learn more about the people and events that shaped the civil war and reconstruction