June 3, 2003
Friends of the Old Court House Museum
DAVIS AT BRIERFIELD:
"The painful selection of a president"
a February day in 1861 as Jefferson and Varina Davis were pruning
roses on the lawn at Brierfield, their home south of Vicksburg, a
messenger arrived information Davis that he had been elected president
of the Confederate States of America.
Davis wrote, "He looked so grieved that I feared some evil had
befallen our family. After a few minutes' painful silence, he
told me, as a man might speak of a sentence of death ..."
The mural captures the approaching storm clouds of war.
left the next day for Montgomery, Alabama, for the inauguration,
making his first speech as president-elect at the Vicksburg Wharf.
was a graduate of West Point and a hero of the Mexican War. He
served in the United States Congress, Senate, and was Secretary of
the War Between the States, he was a greatly revered Southern
statesman and predicted for America "a future full of promise, a
future of expanding national glory, before which all the world will
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