April 2016 A to Z Challenge. I’m participating in the challenge by writing about history.
B is for Beauvoir.
Beauvoir, meaning beautiful view, is know by many people, especially civil war buffs. It’s an antebellum home that sits on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in the beautiful town of Biloxi, Mississippi. It was many things but best known as the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
It was built between 1848 and 1852 by a rich plantation owner as a summer home for his family. After the man died, it was sold in 1873 by his widow for back taxes, then sold again three months later to a Sarah Dorsey.
In 1877 (following the civil war), Jefferson Davis was on the coast, looking for a place of solitude to write. He visited his family friend Mrs. Dorsey and they agreed he should stay there. He loved the home so much, he offered to buy it, and she sold it to him for $5,500.00 to be paid in three payments. After making the first payment, Mrs. Dorsey died. President Davis then found in her will that he was her sole heir.
President Davis lived in the home until his death in 1889. His daughter Winnie inherited the house and sold it to the Sons of Confederate Veterans with the stipulation that the home be used to house Confederate veterans and their wives at no charge until it wasn’t needed anymore. The last of the veterans vacated the premises in 1957. The home was severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina but is now again open as a tourist attraction and historical site.
If you find yourself in Biloxi and you’d like to visit, daily tours of the mansion run every hour between 9:30am and 4:30pm. The property is located at 2244 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39531 (228) 388-4400. You can visit their website HERE.
My second great grandfather Joel Bluett Culpepper served in the civil war Co. K 63rd Alabama infantry. He signed up at the age of seventeen. In 1863, he was captured and held at Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island until the end of the war. Under his rights as a Confederate veteran, he spent the last ten months of his life at Beauvoir, dying at the home 11 Jan 1911. He is on the records there as James B Culpepper.
1957! That’s a long time. What an interesting family tie you have to the place. I’d love to visit it.
The Really Real Housewives
The first time I went there was as a child and I didn’t know about my family connection. I fell in love with it. After learning about my grandpa years later, I realized the connection I felt must have been with him and not with the place. Hmmm.
Imagine how old those folks were in 1957. The war ended 102 years before. Of course, the residents could have been the soldiers wives who could have been a lot younger.
Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth!
Very interesting. I took a look at their website, but I can’t find any information on the home’s square footage or number of rooms. Do you know?
I don’t know about the square footage, but there are eight rooms. They are quite substantial with amazingly high ceilings. If the square footage includes the front and back porches, I’d say well over 3000 sq ft. The porches are quite huge. They used to have the basement open also, where they had artifacts on display, but I think they moved those into the newly opened library. Of course they lost 35% of the items during Hurricane Katrina.
You’re welcome. Google “Biloxi Beauvoir Rooms” and click on images. There are some pretty good photos online of the rooms.
Thank you for the history lesson. Very well written.
And why didn’t we study home history in school? This is interesting!
Thank you, Dearie 🌹
Sir Leprechaunrabbit 🍀🐰
I don’t know why we never learned good history. I think I can still measure a room for carpet though. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Very nice write-up. And how interesting your connection to it. My second great-grandfather was a soldier for Georgia during the Civil War and fought at Kennesaw Mountain. Going to the preserved battlefield was pretty cool. I walked where he walked! 🙂
It’s a strange but wonderful feeling, isn’t it? I walked the field in Murfreesboro, TN where my 3rd great grandpa Rice Carpenter died on 31 Dec 1862 at the Battle of Stones River. The man there told me the place where they fought that day was up the road about a mile and is now a golf course. How strange. I didn’t walk the golf course. 🙂
Lori, love this! and all your writings on the Civil War. I was wondering if I may use this in my UDC chapter newsletter?
Hi Susan! Of course you may use it. I’m in the UDC Robert E Lee chapter 2561 in Meridian, MS. 🙂
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