Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/101

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The Real Jefferson Davis.


Jefferson and Varina Banks Howell Davis had six children; the eldest, Samuel Emory Davis, dying in Washington in 1854, when not 3 years old. The second was Margaret Howell Davis—named for her grandmother, and now Mrs. Joel A. Hayes, of Colorado Springs. She is the only living one of the six and has had five children, of whom four are living, and two grandchildren.

The second son, Jefferson Davis, Jr., had almost reached his majority when he died in Memphis in the yellow fever epidemic of 1878.

Joseph Evan Davis was born in 1859, and was killed by a fall over the balusters of the White House, in Richmond, when 3 years old.

William Howell Davis was born in the White House, Richmond, in 1862. He died, almost as suddenly as Joe had done, from diphtheria, in Natchez, Miss., in October, 1874, when nearer to manhood than any of the sons save "Little Jeff." But the other birth in the White House was that of the famous and widely-loved "Daughter of the Confederacy," Varina Anne Davis, petnamed "Winnie." She was her mother's companion in their northern home, shared her literary tastes and died in the full promise of noble womanhood on Sept. 18, 1898.

The lonely and constant mother lingered to complete her work of love and life, the embalming of her husband's memory, until the autumn of 1906. Then she took her burthen and bore it to the Throne's foot.


Mobile, Alabama, December 1, 1908.