Friday, April 4, 2014

A-Z Day 4: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

Day 4: Davis, Jefferson

While visiting Biloxi, my mom and I decided to drag my dad to see Beauvoir, the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. As someone who has always been embarrassed I was born in Mississippi because of the south’s role in slavery and the Civil War, I wasn’t exactly gung-ho about visiting because of Davis’ ties to the home but rather because it’s gorgeous

However, I learned things I either didn’t know before or had long forgotten. Davis himself was against the war and accepted his appointment as president out of a sense of duty. After the war ended and he’d spent years in prison, wearing shackles even in his cell, one of the men who arrested him went to him for money because he couldn’t afford to reach his home up north. Davis gave his former arresting officer the money and told him that if he should see any southerners in a similar situation, he should help him if he was able. 

I will always be horrified by slavery (and thrilled that my ancestors didn’t even live in the south at the time), but I don’t hate Jefferson Davis anymore. 


  1. I never knew that about Davis before. I think we often look at the Civil War as having "bad guys" and "good guys," but everyone involved definitely had both bad and good qualities, worthy and unworthy motives. Even Lincoln. :)

    That said, I too am thankful that all my ancestors lived in the North at the time!

  2. I definitely agree. There were some people who were legitimately involved in the war because they believed in states' rights and not slavery. But... yeah. When the causes are linked, it's a lot harder to just shrug and say, "I can see where they were coming from."

    Hehe, yeah. It's nice knowing your ancestors weren't involved in that!