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.