The First White House of the Confederacy was the Executive residence of the President of the South, Jefferson Davis and his family.
It served this function as long as the capital of the Southern states was in Montgomery Alabama.
However, it was short tenure, as it only served in this capacity from February 1861 until May of 1861, when it was moved to Richmond Virginia.
It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the year 1974, and the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage since 2012.
It is located at 644 Washington Street, in downtown Montgomery.
This historical house is furnished with all original pieces from the 1850’s and 1860’s, and is open to the public,
It is an Italianate style house that is located on the south side of the Alabama State Capital, and next door to the Archives and History Building.
There are several personal items of both President Davis and his wife in the historic home, as with as original furnishings of the time period.
It is basically a Confederate Museum that tells three different stories, and they are as follows.
A trip to the First White House of the Confederacy could be one of your best Montgomery day trips for the following reasons.
The First White House of the Confederacy was originally built in the year 1825, by William Sayre, one of Montgomery’s top merchants.
In February of 1861, shortly after Mr., Davis was elected Present, the Provisional Confederate Congress met in Montgomery and authorized the leasing of an executive mansion.
An offer came from the new owner of the house, to lease the house fully furnished for $5,000 a year.
When Mr. Davis and his wife asked for additional amenities of silver and linen, another $987 was added to the yearly lease price.
All additional furnishings were brought in from the Davis’s personal residence in Biloxi Mississippi.
During their tenure at the house, they threw several lavish parties and entertainments.
The first party they had was held in the honor of the ladies of Montgomery.
Records for that time period go into detail about how lavish and well-managed these events were.
On May 27, 1861, they vacated the First White House of the Confederacy, and moved into a home in Richmond, where the capital was relocating to.
After the move, the Confederate Government sold the lease and after the war, it was passed onto William Gibbs and then to the Tyson family in 1871.
The First White House of the Confederacy was a very large two story wooden framed house that was painted green and white.
There were five bays across its frontal façade, and four on either side.
There was a one-story wing that extended from the main section of the house, which has two end-exterior chimneys.
It was built on a foundation of brick piers and had a heavy bracketed cornice that encased the hipped roof.
The cornice of the house was quite unique in that it had a ventilation system that was ornamented with a liberty cap design.
There was also a like cornice on the rear one-story wing, but that had a flower design.
The First White House of the Confederacy had a portico located in the center of its façade, which was supported by fluted columns and a balustrade in the main portico area.
The central entrance was framed by two separate pilasters with side lights located on them.
There central stair hall had access to a double parlor and there were two bedrooms, as well as a back hallway.
The parlors have very simple wooden doorways, but they were connected by sliding doors, which was quite rare for this time frame.
The bedrooms were designed in a very similar style.
The back hall intersected the main hallway, which had access to a side porch.
The side porch was connected to the dining room through a hinged door that also served as a window.
The First White House of the Confederacy is loaded with history and is well worth the time as one of your Montgomery day trips.
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