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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: Death of Jefferson Davis Remembered

Friday, November 16, 2007

Death of Jefferson Davis Remembered

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

The Christmas of 1889 was a sad time in the South.

December 6th, is the 118th anniversary of the death of a great
American Hero---Jefferson Davis.

The "Politically Correct" would have you forget the past...But
do not forget the history of the men and women who made the
USA great.

Caution, this is a family friendly story to be shared.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans have declared 2008, the
"Year of Jefferson Davis." Remembrance events will include the
re-opening of "Beauvoir" on Jefferson Davis' 200th birthday---June 3,
2008. This was Davis' last home that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum will be rebuilt
and re-open about two years after the house. Beauvoir is located on the
beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast. See more at:

The New York Times reported the death of Jefferson Davis;

New Orleans, December 8, 1889---Quote
"A careful tally of the visitors shows that about 40,000 persons,
mostly women and children, viewed the remains today. This crowd
included, in solemn and respectful attendance, all conditions of Whites,
Blacks, ex-Confederates, ex-Federals, and even Indians and Chinamen."

Davis' Death was also the page 1 story in Dixie;

December 1889, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution; Quote

"The Great Chieftain passes over the river...and rests with Jackson
under the shade of the trees. The hearts of a great and loving people,
crushed by the death of a great leader. The Hero of hard-fought fields in
Mexico. The peerless Statesman in Federal Councils. Jefferson Davis
is no more!!!" Unquote

Who was Jefferson Davis?

Jefferson Davis graduated from the United States Military Academy
at West Point, served valiantly during the War with Mexico, served as
Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce, served as United
States Senator from Mississippi and was President of the Confederate
States of America.

Jefferson Davis was a Christian father and husband. He and wife
Varina were blessed with seven children who were; Margaret, Jeff, Jr.,
Varina Anne, Bill, Joseph, Samuel and their adopted African-American
son---Jim Limber.

During November, 1889, Jefferson Davis left his home to attend to
family business at Brierfield Plantation. On his way through
New Orleans the weather turned colder and he was exposed to the
rain and cold. He came down with a severe cold and bronchitis that
was further complicated by Malaria.

Milo Cooper, a former servant of the Davis family, traveled a great
distance to be by Davis' side. It has been written that when Copper
entered Davis' sick room in New Orleans, he fell on his knees in
tears and prayed God would spare the life of Jefferson Davis and
bless his family.

Varina was by her husband's side when Jefferson Davis died at
a friend's home on the morning of December 6, 1889.

All New Orlean's newspapers led with praises and tributes that
echoed throughout the South; Quote

"Throughout the South there are lamentations and tears; in every
country on the globe where there are lovers of liberty there is
mourning; wherever there are men who admire heroic patriotism,
dauntless resolution, fortitude, or intellectual power and supremacy,
there is sincere sorrowing. The beloved of our land, the unfaltering
upholder of constitutional liberty, the typical hero and sage, is no
more; the fearless heart that beats with sympathy for all mankind is
stilled forever, a great light is gone---Jefferson Davis is Dead!" Unquote

The mortal body of Jefferson Davis lay in state at the City Hall of
New Orleans from midnight on December 6th to the 11th, 1889. The
US and Confederate flags hung from the walls.

It is written that two hundred thousand people lined the streets of
New Orleans when the funeral procession carried Davis' body to
Metairie Cemetery for temporary burial.

On December 13, 1889, the New York Times reported the Davis
Funeral being the grandest ever seen in the South. The Sermon
at Metairie Cemetery was delivered by Bishop Thompson of
Mississippi. Bishop Gallaber delivered a brief sketch of Jefferson
Davis' life...And a Church Choir sang an old time favorite "Rock of
Ages" to end the service.

Lest We Forget!!!


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