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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I: Letters to and from Jefferson and Varina Howell Davis, 1838-1864

Series II: Letters to and from Jefferson and Varina Howell Davis, 1869-1894

Series III: Letters to and from Other Persons, 1849-1886

Series IV: U.S. and Confederate Imprints, 1848-1867

Series V: Related Documents and Printed Material, 1850-1964

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Jefferson Davis letters and related materials collection, 1838-1964 MS 005



creator Davis, Jefferson
Title: Jefferson Davis letters and related materials collection
Dates: 1838-1964
Abstract: Original handwritten letters between U.S. Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his government and military colleagues, and his wife, Varina. Colleagues include General William H. Emory, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Sidney W. Burbank, Secretary of War John B. Floyd, General Joseph E. Johnston, Col. Abraham Myers, General James Chesnut, and William H. Sanders. The bulk of the letters date from the 1850s and 1860s. Additional materials are letters to and from other persons, U.S. and Confederate imprints, newspapers and other related ephemera.
Identification: MS 005
Quantity: 0.75 Linear Feet2 boxes
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

Jefferson Davis was a West Point graduate (1828), army officer on the western frontier (1828-35), Zachary Taylor's son-in-law and confidant, a Mississippi planter and slaveholder, presidential elector (1844), United States congressman and senator in the 1840s and 1850s, gubernatorial candidate (1851), Franklin Pierce's secretary of war and personal advisor (1853-1857), spokesman for the South in the Senate (1857-61), president of the Confederacy (1861-65), a federal prisoner indicted for treason (1865-67), Memphis businessman (1869-73), Confederate apologist, and a notable symbol of the Lost Cause.

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Scope and Contents

Original handwritten letters between U.S. Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his government and military colleagues, and his wife, Varina. Colleagues include General William H. Emory, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Sidney W. Burbank, Secretary of War John B. Floyd, General Joseph E. Johnston, Col. Abraham Myers, General James Chesnut, and William H. Sanders. The bulk of the letters date from the 1850s and 1860s. Additional materials are letters to and from other persons, U.S. and Confederate imprints, newspapers and other related ephemera.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research. Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Use Restictions

Permission to publish material from the Jefferson Davis Letters must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

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Index Terms

corrrespondence
United States
American Civil War (1861-1865)
Davis, Varina Howell
Davis, Jefferson
Floyd, John B. (John Buchanan)
Douglas, Stephen A. (Stephen Arnold)
Myers, Abraham C.
James Chesnut, 1815-1885
Johnston, Joseph E. (Joseph Eggleston)
Mann, A. Dudley (Ambrose Dudley), 1801-1889

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Related Materials

See also Kuntz U.S. Civil War Collection (MS 256) at the Woodson Research Center for additional original Jefferson Davis letters dating from 1862-1865 and 1880.

Contact the Library of Congress, National Archives, Tulane University, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Virginia Historical Society (Richmond, VA) for information on their holdings of Davis correspondence and records.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jefferson Davis letters and related materials collection, MS 005, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

A portion of these letters were purchased by the Fondren Library in 1975 and the remaining materials were donated by the Jefferson Davis Project when its editorial work ended in 2015. Most are published in the Papers of Jefferson Davis, a 14 volume set available at many libraries and from LSU Press.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Letters to and from Jefferson and Varina Howell Davis, 1838-1864

Box Folder
1 1 Jefferson Davis to Joseph E. Davis, Jan. 2, 1838
2 Jefferson Davis to Varina Howell, Jan. 31, 1845
Related Materials
See also letter in Box 2 Folder 31.
3 Jefferson Davis to Thomas S. Jesup, May 26, 1846
4 Jefferson Davis to Varina Howell Davis, Dec. 10, 1846
5 Jefferson Davis to Robert J. Walker, Dec. 9, 1847
6 Walter Cunningham to Jefferson Davis, June 7, [1848]
7 Jefferson Davis to Francis J. Lynch, Feb. 25, 1850
8 Ferdinand L. Claiborne to Jefferson Davis, May 25, 1850
9 Jefferson Davis account with William Laughlin & Co., Mar. 19, 1850
10 Jefferson Davis et al. to William A. Graham and Thomas Corwin, Feb. 18, 1851
11 Horatio J. Harris to Jefferson Davis, Apr. 17, 1851
12 Jefferson Davis to Asbury Dickins, Nov. 30, 1851
13 Jefferson Davis to Thomas J. Durant, Feb. 17, 1853
14 Jefferson Davis order re discharges, May 2, 1853
15 Henry K. Craig to Jefferson Davis, June 8, 1853
16 Henry K. Craig to Jefferson Davis, Feb. 9, 1854
17 Henry L. Heiskell to Thomas Lawson, with Jefferson Davis endorsement, June 17, 1854
18 William H. Emory to Jefferson Davis, with Davis endorsement, Aug. 14, 1854
19 Jefferson Davis to Stephen A. Douglas, Feb. 7, 1855
20 Jefferson Davis to Alexandre Vattemare, May 5, 1855
21 Jefferson Davis to Persifor F. Smith, May 25, 1855
22 William R. Andrews to Henry K. Craig, with Jefferson Davis endorsement, Nov. 7, 1855
23 Jefferson Davis endorsement to [John G. Barnard], Feb. 13, 1856
24 Jefferson Davis to Anthony Hyde, Mar. 6, 1856
25 Nathaniel P. Banks to Jefferson Davis, Apr. 5, 1856
26 Jefferson Davis to Jesse D. Bright, William H. English, S. Miller, July 11, 1856
27 Jefferson Davis to Alexander H. Bowman, July 18, 1856
28 A. O. P. Nicholson to Jefferson Davis, Jan. 19, 1857
29 Jefferson Davis to E. E. Bradbury, Dec. 31, 1858
30 Jefferson Davis to William J. Hardee, May 30, 1859
31 Sidney W. Burbank to Jefferson Davis, with Davis endorsement to John B. Floyd, Sept. 24, 1859
32 Jefferson Davis to John J. Pettus, Dec. 29, 1859
33 Jefferson Davis to Montgomery C. Meigs, July 25, 1860
34 Jefferson Davis to Francis W. Pickens, Jan. 19, 1861
35 Jefferson Davis to John F. Callan, Feb. 7, 1861
36 Francis H. Hatch to Jefferson Davis, Sept. 6, 1861
37 Thomas O. Moore et al. to Jefferson Davis, Sept. 6, 1861
38 Thomas O. Moore to Jefferson Davis, Sept. 7, 1861
39 Thomas O. Moore to Jefferson Davis, Sept. 7, 1861
40 Edwin De Leon to Jefferson Davis, Oct. [24], 1861
41 Hartley Graham to Jefferson Davis, Feb. 26, 1862
42 Joseph E. Johnston to Jefferson Davis, with Davis endorsement to Abraham C. Myers, Mar. 3, 1862
43 Abraham C. Myers to Jefferson Davis, Mar. 7, 1862
44 Joseph E. Johnston to Jefferson Davis, Mar. 13, 1862
45 [John S. Menefee] to Jefferson Davis, Oct. 13, 1862
46 Jefferson Davis to Anna Reid Sanders, June 11, 1863
47 Jefferson Davis to George B. Hodge, May 17, 1864
48 Jefferson Davis to Samuel Jones, July 7, 1864
49 Jefferson Davis to Joseph E. Johnston, July 12, 1864
50 Jefferson Davis to William M. Browne, July 29, 1864
51 Jefferson Davis to Dabney H. Maury, Aug. 5, 1864
52 Jefferson Davis to James Chesnut, Oct. 31, 1864
53 Jefferson Davis to Milledge L. Bonham, Oct. 31, 1864

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Series II: Letters to and from Jefferson and Varina Howell Davis, 1869-1894

Box Folder
2 1 Jefferson Davis to Varina Howell Davis, Aug. 2, 1869
2 Varina Howell Davis to Jefferson Davis, June 22, [1870]
3 Jefferson Davis to Mrs. C. Carson, July 15, 1870
4 Jefferson Davis to Jane Elgee Wilde, Sept. 21, 1870
5 Jefferson Davis to Burton N. Harrison, Jan. 11, 1874
6 Jefferson Davis to Mrs. ---- Horn[e]-Payne, Mar. 16, 1874
7 Jefferson Davis to A. Dudley Mann, Dec. 11, 1875
8 Varina Howell Davis to Margaret Davis Hayes, Mar. 12, 1879
9 Jefferson Davis to A. Dudley Mann, Sept. 3, 1879
10 Jefferson Davis to Crafts J. Wright, July 21, 1881
11 Thomas C. Reynolds to Jefferson Davis, July 30, 1881
12 Varina Howell Davis to A. Dudley Mann, [Sept. 1881]
13 Jefferson Davis to Van H. Manning, Dec. 15, 1882
14 Jefferson Davis to Charles Mercer Hall, July 7, 1884
15 Jefferson Davis to Micajah H. Clark, Oct. 23, 1884
16 Jefferson Davis to Campbell Brown, July 9, 1885
17 Varina Howell Davis to Helen Gray, Nov. 28, 1886
18 Jefferson Davis to Martin W. Philips, Jan. 28, 1887
19 Jefferson Davis to Isaac R. Pennypacker, Jan. 31, 1887
20 Jefferson Davis to Martin W. Philips, Nov. 24, 1887
21 Jefferson Davis to William H. Sanders, Mar. 23, 1888
22 Jefferson Davis to Samuel H. Christie, Feb. 12, 1889
23 Varina H. Davis to Helen Gray, Mar. 4, 1889
24 Jefferson Davis to J. William Jones, Mar. 22, 1889
25 Jefferson Davis to [Lou] H. Willis, Apr. 13, 1889
26 Varina Howell Davis to Helen Gray, Feb. 15, 1894

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Series III: Letters to and from Other Persons, 1849-1886

Box Folder
2 27 Eliza Turner Quitman to Henry Quitman, Aug. 9, 1849
28 Eliza Turner Quitman to Henry Quitman, May 1, 1850
29 Margaret Kempe Howell to William F. Howell, Mar. 16, 1851
30 Statement of Haggi Mohammed and Hassan Aga, Jan. 16, 1861
31 W. D. Putnam to Clara ----, July 15, 1863 [enclosing Jefferson Davis to Varina Howell, Jan. 31, 1845]
32 Wes ---- to D. R. Jencks, July 29, 1863
33 Statements on capture of Jefferson Davis, July-Sept. 1879
34 Anne M. Barnes to William F. Gable, Oct. 11, 1886

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Series IV: U.S. and Confederate Imprints, 1848-1867

Box Folder
2 35 Bill on army retired list, Jan. 20, 1848
36 Report and bill on Nehemiah Brush, May 10, 1848
37 Report and bill on relief of Roger Jones, Jan. 4, 1849
38 Report on loan of artillery to Norwich University, Jan. 29, 1849
39 Report on Arkansas survey, Jan. 31, 1849
40 Report on widow of Antonio Pacheco, Feb. 5, 1849
41 Bill for relief of Alexander Montgomery, Feb. 20, 1849
42 Remarks on Vermont resolutions, Feb. 10, 1850
43 Speech on slavery in the territories, Feb. 13-14, 1850
44 General Orders, Adjutant General’s Office, 1853-1855
45 Report on Robert S. Williamson survey, Mar. 20, 1854
46 Report on fortifications, Mar. 20, 1856
47 Report on War Department contracts, Jan. 29, 1857
48 Speech of Judah P. Benjamin, Mar. 1, 1860
49 Message to Congress, Nov. 18, 1861
50 Report on department employees, Feb. 15, 1862
51 Message to Congress, Feb. 25, 1862
52 Message to Congress, Jan. 12, 1863
53 Message to House of Representatives, Apr. 16, 1863
54 Message to Congress, Dec. 7, 1863
55 Message to Congress, May 30, 1864
56 Message to Congress, Nov. 7, 1864
57 Message to Congress, Feb. 6, 1865
58 Report on Lincoln assassination, July 1866
59 Report on claims for capture of Jefferson Davis, Mar. 2, 1867

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Series V: Related Documents and Printed Material, 1850-1964

Box Folder
2 60 Washington Daily National Intelligencer, Feb. 19, 1850
61 Vicksburg Weekly Sentinel, July 9, 1856
62 Washington Daily National Intelligencer, Jan. 11, 1859
63 Washington Daily National Intelligencer, Oct. 4, 1859
64 Confederate election ballot, Nov. 1861
65 Confederate $20 bill, 1861-1865
66 U.S. envelopes, 1861-1865
67 Daily Richmond Enquirer, Dec. 31, 1864
68 Bill of exchange, Jan. 7, 1865
69 Galveston Daily News, May 31, 1865
70 New York Herald, Apr. 11, 1866
71 Jefferson Davis cartoon, June 1867 [New York]
72 In Memoriam. Jefferson Davis (1890)
73 John A. Fox, Capture of Jefferson Davis (published booklet, 1964)

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