Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beauvoir in Biloxi, Mississippi - Final Home of President Jefferson Davis

Beauvoir, Final Home of Jefferson Davis
One of the most beautiful landmarks of the Mississippi Gulf Coast is the appropriately named Beauvoir, the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

The home survived the brutal winds and storm surge of Hurricane Katrina and his been restored to its pre-storm beauty. It faces across US 90 to Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico in the popular resort city of Biloxi.

Beauvoir in Biloxi, Mississippi
Built in 1848, the same year as the nearby Biloxi Lighthouse, Beauvoir originally was known as Orange Grove. Satsuma Oranges then grew in profusion on the grounds, as they once did across the entire northern Gulf Coast, giving the summer home of the James Brown family its name. Brown died in 1857 and his widow later sold the home to a real estate speculator who, in turn, sold it to Mrs. Sarah Dorsey.

Bedroom of Jefferson Davis
Mrs. Dorsey renamed the home Beauvoir (French for "Beautiful View") and in 1877 invited former Confederate President Jefferson Davis to use a pavilion on the grounds as a writing retreat. Two years later she agreed to sell the entire estate to Davis for $5,000, to be paid in three payments. Mrs. Dorsey died after receiving the first payment from Davis and the Southern leader was surprised to find that she had left Beauvoir to him in her will.

It was at Beauvoir that Davis completed his monumental work, The Rise and Fall of the Conferate Government and a shorter volume, A Short History of the Confederate States of America.

Now owned by the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Beauvoir is open to the public daily and is a great place to explore the final years in the life of one of the most prominent Southerners of all time. The home features original furniture and other items that once belonged to the Davis family and the guides provide one of the best tours of a historic home that I've ever experienced.

To learn more about Beauvoir, please visit

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