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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, May 07, 1905, Image 32

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1905-05-07/ed-1/seq-32/

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!>.;->• Ross llmi-i-, I'l nl .ulc-lphia
CATCHING the spirit of the movement
in 189 for preservation of historic
houses. Southern women undertook
the restoration of the White House of the
Confederacy ;it Richmond, which had been
converted into a public school. Inspired
by Mrs. Joseph Bergan, the Confederate
Memorial Literary Societj was organized
and, six years afterward, \\\\> fine old
Virginia homestead was transformed into
a Confederate museum <>t national re
nown, costing, aside from its priceless relies,
an expenditure of sixty thousand dollars. Annually
visited by hundreds, it reminds of the stirring time
when Jefferson Davis arrived as first President <>f
the Confederacy, inaugurating the brilliant recep
tions which the Southern belle of '61 still recounts
with sparkling eyes, and, aside from political affairs
and functions, it suggests the sacred sorrows of
family life, for little Joe, eldesi >'>n of the President,
was kilK-d instantly by falling from the east portico,
and later was horn the "war baby" of the South.
Winnie Davis, the lamented "Daughter of the
Confederacy. "
Upon the importunities of these women, ever
mindful of the ■'lender grace of a day that is dead,"
the city of Richmond agreed to surrender ownership,
providing they raised the "improvement" fund.
This they promptly proceeded to do through a
bazaar, with each Southern State in charge of a
booth, which netted thirty thousand dollars.
Half of this sum was turned over t<> the rehabilitat
ing committee, and <m June 3, 1894, the eighty
sixth anniversary of Jefferson Davis' birth, the keys
were formally handed to the women, and on Feb
ruary 2 :, ißq6, in remembrance of the inauguration
iii Jefferson Davis as Presideni <>i the Confederacy,
they opened the house to the public.
There it stands on duty, a^ it were, in its
iiray coat of paint reminder of tin- coat oi the
Confederate soldier. Pilled with sacred mementos,
from the faded uniform of General Lee to the
canteen of the " ]>i> ket ofl
duty forever," each room
is sponsored by a South
ern State, with its Con
federate coat-of-arms em
blazoned thereon, and
with one of its daughters
as regent. The entrance
hall and reception-room
are reserved for the lov
ing care of Mrs. Davis.
The "Mississippi room"
was formerly Mrs. Davis'
little sitting-room, where
in she served coffee to her
husband's visitors, and
the "Georgia room was
the stopping-place of Abraham Lincoln when
he visited Richmond the day after the evacuation.
Also through an organized army of thirty thousand
Southern women known as Daughters <>i the Con
federacy, the tirst "White House of the Confed
eracy" at Montgomery, Alabama, wherein Jefferson
Davis lived as President of the Confederacy for
three months before moving t<> Richmond, ulti
mately will be purchased for a museum. In the
meantime the White House Association, with Mrs.
Davis as queen regent, and Mrs. J. 1). Beale <>f
Montgomery as regent, works under the auspices
of Daughters of the Confederacy for the necessary
funds; and, pending their proprietorship, they keep
their treasures, many of which have been k'iven by
the mistress of the first White House of the Con-
J_L J-L^. -LL-^* *i-J' i-\m^f J*- v J L_-^ j^-jf
IBy ©ertlhia Ds^inniSirng B^iniolbe
federacy, in the State Capitol building at Mont
gomery, wherein Jefferson Davis took his oath
when he l>e>ame the first President of the Con
Southern women also rose patriotically t<> the
occasion, so to speak, when "Liberty Hall," the
home of Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Vice-
President of the Confederacy, was preserved by
citizens <>f Crawfordsville, Georgia, the assisting
"Ladies' Auxiliary" contributing un< 1 even to this
day maintaining Mr. Stephens' private room in its
original setting.
Other houses that may be numbered among those
with which Southern women, directly or indirectly,
are concerned are Heard House at Washington,
Georgia, historic as the la>t meeting-place of the
Confederate Cabinet; the General Robert E. Lee
Home in Richmond, Virginia, now headquarters
for the Virginia Historical Society; the Stonewall
Jackson House at Lexington, Kentucky, whose hos
pital has the Southern woman a.-' patron saint; and
"Beauvoir," the beautiful home of Jefferson Davis
in Mississippi after the war.
Kins; Manor, set among five acres of fine
old foresi trees at Jamaica, Long Island, is a pictur
esque ' ' >7 5 " house preserved not l>y a national
but a local organization, and in its prime was
occupied by Rufus King, whom Washington ap
pointed Minister to the Court of St. James.
Wallace House. Somerville, New-Jersey tting Manor. Jamaica. Long 1»|.,,,,l
"Yanhee Doodle" House. Rensselaer
Thereby hai a little historic story, whi !:
women who make up the King Manor Ass*
iation have gleaned from the King famil} '
ters. Rufus King was in England at the time
of Washington's death, and the day after re
ceiving the sad news, being obliged to at
tend an official ftmcti at the Court of St.
James, he appeared with a band of crape
on his arm. The King greeted Ambassador
King as usual, l«ut made no allusion to the
passing of his illustrious countryman. One
dignitary after another conversed ordinarily
.vith him: but still there was no mention of
the national sorrow in America, until or.'i
officer noted the badge of death, and with
more effrontery than sympathy said "Oh.
I see your Mr. Washington is dead!"
This old Kins Manor House, as it is known
familiarly, belongs in the category of tristori
structures saved by a local organization. The p.ir'c
commissioners of Brooklyn, who had had charge of
the property for several years, decided that they
would pull it down. Thereupon the dissenting
women formed themselves into the King Manor
Association, and induced the commissioners to lei
them have the place. They promptly convert ed
the house into headquarters for various organi
zations in thai locality. The Long Island con
tingent of Daughters of the Revolution were given
the drawing-room, after having reset it with fine
specimens of eighteenth-century furniture, and the
dining-room, which was added to the original house
by John King, the son of the Governor of NV\> -
V<>rk, became the meeting- place for the Jamaica
Woman's Club.
Jumt-1 Mansion,
New-Yorh City
The officers of the Revoluti Memorial Asso
ciation, incorporated seven jrea asjo for the care
of Washington's headquarters at SomerviHe. Xe\v-
Jersey, are composed of both men and women.
Their chief interest is Wallace House. This was
built in 1775, just bef< it became winter head
quarters, and was chosen because of its nearness to
Camp Middlebrook. To the camp came the wives
of officers, and no less a chronicler than Genera!
Greene, in writing long ag of a social function,
thus quaintlj reflected the festive side of Washing
ton: "We bad a little dance at my quarters.
His excellency and Mrs. Greene danced upward of
three hours without once
sitting down. Upon the
whole, we had a pretty
little frisk."
Upon crossing the sraa
porch and entering
house, one notices on
stairs a tall old-ti::
dock, reminding of
time its insides were
den in the Raritan i
to prevent their de;
tion by the British.
entrance-hall run:
length of the ho-.:- -.
its walls to righi a
are plastered with I
Honary engravings and portraits. Two of the roc
have been reset with Continei trappings i
main societj, the Revolutionary Memorial Ass
tion (which, by the way, is a stock-company,
issued shares at ten dollars each for the purcha
the house), while various chapters of Daughters • >i
American Revolution have furnished four and Dat
tors of the Revolution one of the remaining n>
At every turn are found reminders of Washing'
one paper recounting the General's appearan
prayer-meeting >>n a Sunday afternoon, which
held in the "court-martial house near his dwelling
Women have been not less cooperative in savii
the home of their illustrious countrywoman. Bet;
Ross, maker of the first American tlaij. Though :
a single feminine name adorns the ofti< ■ list
(CjHtin:if.i ."i ten 16)
WHite House of the Confeder.i
Richmond, Virginia

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