While the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond has been swallowed up by Virginia Commonwealth University’s medical complex, the First White House of the Confederacy enjoys a prominent spot on a corner right across from the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery.
“Designated Executive Residence by the Provisional Confederate Congress February 21, 1861,” reads the state historical marker in front of the building. Davis and his family lived there until the Confederate Congress moved the capital to Richmond the following summer.
Built by William Sayre 1832-35 at Bibb and Lee Streets, it was moved to its present location at 644 Washington Avenue by the First White House Association and dedicated on June 3, 1921. In 1974, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The Museum tells three stories,” its website says:
- What happened during the spring of 1861 when a government was formed from few resources except cotton and courage.
- The story of Jefferson Davis, a renowned American patriot long before The War, and his family.
- The story of the preservation of the House
The First White House of the Confederacy is open Saturdays from 9-4 and weekdays from 8-4:30 (although it’s closed noon to one for lunch). Admission is free.
And right across the street are the grounds of the state capitol, which are definitely worth a look!