Varina Davis letter
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Varina Davis letter

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Davis, Varina, 1826-1906.
Title: Varina Davis letter
Dates: 1865
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 2113

Biographical/Historical Note

Varina Anne Banks Howell was born on 7 May 1826, in Natchez, Mississippi to William Burr and Margaret Kempe Howell. She was a granddaughter of Richard Howell, Governor of New Jersey, 1793-1801. She died 16 October 1906 in New York City.

Varina Howell married Jefferson Davis on 25 February 1845. They had six children: Samuel Emerson (1852-1854), Margaret Howell (1855-?), Jefferson, Jr. (1857-1878), Joseph Evan (1859-1864), William Howell (1861-1872), and Varina Anne (1864-1898).

After the fall of the Confederacy, its leaders tried to avoid capture and trial for treason. Jefferson, Varina, and their family were captured 10 May 1865 in Irwinville, Georgia and taken to Fort Monroe where Jefferson Davis was imprisoned on 22 May 1865. Varina and the children traveled to Savannah, where they remained for two months at the Pulaski Hotel.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a letter dated 24 June 1865, written by Varina Davis to General Henry Warner Birge, Union Commander of the District of Savannah, Georgia. The letter requests that a note be forwarded to Dr. John J. Craven, the Federal Army Surgeon assigned to Jefferson Davis at Fort Monroe.

Index Terms

Birge, Henry Warner, 1825-1888.
Craven, John Joseph, 1822-1893.
Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889.
Davis, Varina, 1826-1906.
Letters (correspondence)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

Administrative Information

Custodial history

Material was purchased from the Book Lady, Savannah, Georgia.

Preferred citation

[Identification of item], Varina Davis letter, MS 2113, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition information

Purchased, 1983.


Access restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Container List

Item 1: Varina Davis letter to General Henry Warner Birge, June 24, 1865 View online.