Davis, Varina, 1826-1906. | Tulane University Special Collections
Name: Davis, Varina, 1826-1906.
Fuller Form: Davis, Varina Howell.
Historical Note: Varina Howell Davis (1826-1906) was the second wife of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. She was born in Natchez, Mississippi, the daughter of William Burr Howell and Margaret L. Kempe. She married Jefferson Davis in 1845. During the Civil War, she lived with her husband in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy. At the end of the war, she and her husband fled South hoping to escape to Europe, but they were captured and he was imprisoned at Fort Monroe in Phoebus, Virginia, for two years. The Davis family then traveled constantly in Europe and Canada as Jefferson Davis sought employment that would rebuild his fortunes. They eventually returned to Mississippi. Following Jefferson Davis' death in 1889, Varina Davis accepted Kate Davis Pulitzer's offer to become a full time columnist and moved to New York City with her daughter, Winnie, in 1891. Varina Davis died in New York City in 1906.
Sources: Manuscripts Collection M-418, M-921
Note Author: LAC Group