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Jefferson Davis letters and related materials collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS 005
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

Original handwritten letters between U.S. Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his government and military colleagues, and his wife, Varina. Colleagues include General William H. Emory, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Sidney W. Burbank, Secretary of War John B. Floyd, General Joseph E. Johnston, Col. Abraham Myers, General James Chesnut, and William H. Sanders. The bulk of the letters date from the 1850s and 1860s. Additional materials are letters to and from other persons, U.S. and Confederate imprints, newspapers and other related ephemera.

Dates

  • 1838 - 1964

Creator

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research. Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Use Restictions

Permission to publish material from the Jefferson Davis Letters must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Biographical Note

Jefferson Davis was a West Point graduate (1828), army officer on the western frontier (1828-35), Zachary Taylor's son-in-law and confidant, a Mississippi enslaver, presidential elector (1844), United States congressman and senator in the 1840s and 1850s, gubernatorial candidate (1851), Franklin Pierce's secretary of war and personal advisor (1853-1857), spokesman for the South in the Senate (1857-61), president of the Confederacy (1861-65), a federal prisoner indicted for treason (1865-67), Memphis businessman (1869-73), Confederate apologist, and a notable symbol of the Lost Cause.

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Original handwritten letters between U.S. Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his government and military colleagues, and his wife, Varina. Colleagues include General William H. Emory, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Sidney W. Burbank, Secretary of War John B. Floyd, General Joseph E. Johnston, Col. Abraham Myers, General James Chesnut, and William H. Sanders. The bulk of the letters date from the 1850s and 1860s. Additional materials are letters to and from other persons, U.S. and Confederate imprints, newspapers and other related ephemera.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

A portion of these letters were purchased by the Fondren Library in 1975 and the remaining materials were donated by the Jefferson Davis Project when its editorial work ended in 2015. Most are published in the Papers of Jefferson Davis, a 14 volume set available at many libraries and from LSU Press.

Related Materials

See also Kuntz U.S. Civil War Collection (MS 256) at the Woodson Research Center for additional original Jefferson Davis letters dating from 1862-1865 and 1880.

Contact the Library of Congress, National Archives, Tulane University, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Virginia Historical Society (Richmond, VA) for information on their holdings of Davis correspondence and records.

Processing Information

This finding aid was reviewed for harmful, offensive, and aggrandizing language. Published titles and names of organizations with this language are not edited. Legacy finding aids are available by request. If you have suggestions, please email woodson@rice.edu.
Title
Guide to the Jefferson Davis letters and related materials collection, 1838-1964
Status
Completed
Author
Lynda Crist
Date
2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Contact:
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA