Born May 7, 1826, Died October 16, 1906

Wife of Jefferson Davis, President Of The Confederacy

Virginian Pilot Newspaper Obituaries


News Articles Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia 16 December 1865 to present date


Wednesday, October 10, 1906 Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 9 - Mrs. J. A. HAYES left Colorado Springs last night for New York City, called by the announcement of the serious illness of her mother, the widow of the President of the Confederacy. New York, October 9 - The widow of the President of the Confederate States, is ill with a cold at the Hotel Majestic, this city. Her illness is believed serious. Her daughter, Mrs. J. A. HAYES, of Colorado Springs, is on her way to New York. She is now 81 years old, caught a severe cold last Saturday, October 6, 1906 and on Sunday, October 7, 1906 was instructed to take to her bed. Dr. ROBERT H. WYLEY, who has been her physician for years, said, "She is very ill. At her advanced age, every precaution must be taken against the most trivial complaint."

Tuesday, October 16, 1906 New York, October 16 - She is dying of pneumonia at the Hotel Majestic here. It is believed that she cannot survive more than a few hours. She has been ill several days, but it had been believed that she would recover up to last night, when a sudden change for the worse was noticed.

Wednesday, October 17, 1906 New York, October 16 - Who had been ill for a week, died at 10:25 pm, Tuesday, October 16, 1906. Death was due to pneumonia induced by a severe cold which she contracted upon her return from the Adirondacks, where she had spent the summer months. Although grave fears were felt from the first, her wonderful vitality which brought her safely through a similar attack a year ago, gave hopes of ultimate recovery until Tuesday night. Then a decided change for the worse was evident. The attending Physicians announced that the end was near. It was then believed that she could not survive the night. She rallied slightly during the early hours of Tuesday. Shortly after 7:00 am Tuesday, she had a sinking spell. Rev NATHAN A. SEAGEL, rector of St Stephen's Protestant Episcopal Church, was hurriedly summoned to give religious comfort to the patient in her last moments of consciousness. The clergyman remained some time. AN hour later, it was announced that she had lapsed into a state of coma. The period of unconsciousness continued to the end. At the bedside when death came were MRS. J. ADDISON HAYES of Newark, New Jersey, her only surviving daughter; JEFFERSON DAVIS HAYES, her grandson, is a student at Princeton University; Mrs. CHARLES E. BATESON, a niece; Dr. and Mrs. GUSTAVE WEBB, the latter a granddaughter and Dr. ROBERT H. WYLIE, who with Dr. WEBB, had cared for her throughout her illness. J. ADDISON HAYES, husband of her daughter, had been summoned from Colorado Springs. He was hurrying across the continent when a message announcing her death intercepted him. She has for some years made her home in this city, where she had a wide circle of friends. Throughout her illness solicitous inquiries regarding her condition were continually made at her apartment. She went to the Majestic a short time ago on her return from the Adirondacks where she spent most of the summer. The day she reached town, she was stricken with a cold which induced pneumonia. Her marvelous vitality, however gave hope of ultimate recovery until Monday, when her physicians announced that death was near. Near by relatives were at once summoned to the hotel. Those as a distance were notified. DR. WEBB, husband of one of her granddaughters, has attended the patient throughout her illness. She had her 80th birthday on May 7th of 1906. The late years of her life have been saddened by the loss of her daughter, WINNIE, who died in September 1898 at Narragansett Pier. She was born at Natchez, Mississippi on May 7, 1826. She came of distinguished parentage, her grandfather being, Governor RICHARD HOWELL of New Jersey and her father and mother being WILLIAM BURR and MARGARETTE KEMPE HOWELL. She was educated at private schools in Philadelphia and by private tutors at home. On February 25, 1845, she married JEFFERSON DAVIS, then a lawyer and planter of Warrenton County, Mississippi. Six months after her marriage, JEFFERSON DAVIS developed political ambitions and went to congress. In 1846, he resigned his congressional seat and enlisted in the American Army to fight for the Independence of Texas. In that struggle, he was severely wounded and returning home, went to his Brierfield Plantation where his devoted wife nursed him back to health. Inspired by the ambitions of his wife, he did not long remain in private life. He was elected to the United States Senate shortly after the close of the Mexican War and there his wife was one of his most capable counselors. When the south seceded from the union, she followed her husband to Richmond, where she shared his trials and troubles as president of the Confederate States. By her devotion to the southern cause and the support she gave her husband and Confederate leaders, she won the hearts of every southern man. During his imprisonment at Fortress Monroe, she was permitted to share his sufferings and trials. She accompanied her husband to England after his release from the federal prison. As amanuensis to her husband when he wrote the "Decline and Fall of the Confederate Government" and as the author of the "Memoirs of Jefferson Davis", she achieved literary distinction. She also wrote numerous articles for the magazines and newspapers, mostly relating to the Confederacy and in answer to criticisms of the Confederate government and policies. Although, all her property is in Mississippi, she has made her home in New York for health reasons.

Thursday, October 18, 1906 Richmond, Virginia, October 17, 1906 At a conference of high state and city officials, including Governor SWANSON, Lieutenant Governor ELLYSON, Adjutant General ANDERSON and other distinguished citizens of Virginia, held Wednesday afternoon, October 17, 1906, it was arranged that the funeral of Mrs. JEFFERSON DAVIS shall take place in St Paul's Church, this city, at 8:00 pm Friday, October 19, 1906. General STEPHEN D. LEE of Mississippi, Commander In Chief of the United Confederate Veterans, has been asked to act as chief marshal on the occasion and has accepted the honor. He is now on the way to Richmond. He will issue an order requesting that all the living Confederate Generals meet him here on Friday, October 19, 1906. Governor SWANSON will issue a proclamation calling for a general suspension of business on the occasion of the funeral, the governors of all the states that made up the Confederacy being expected to be present at the obsequies, and all the Confederate and military organizations of Virginia, besides those of other Southern States, will take part in the sad ceremonies. The remains will lie in state in St Paul's Church between the time of their arrival here Friday, October 19, 1906 and the hour for the funeral. It is a striking coincidence that the remains of Miss WINNIE DAVIS, the "Daughter of the Confederacy" arrived here for burial on Friday morning, September 23, 1898 and that the remains of her mother are now also to arrive for sepulhcure here on a Friday morning. The immediate arrangements for the fundal are in the capable and devoted hands of J. TAYLOR ELLYSON, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. The Hollywood Memorial Association met in Lee Camp Hall Wednesday, October 17, 1906 and drafted suitable resolutions regarding the death of Mrs. JEFFERSON DAVIS, the wife of the President of the Confederacy. A committee of eight ladies was appointed by Mrs. ELLYSON to attend the funeral service. They are, besides Mrs. ELLYSON, Mrs. CLAUDE A. SWANSON, the wife of the Governor; Mrs. E..D TAYLOE, Mrs. ARCHIE ANDERSON, Miss NANIE BAUGHMAN, Mrs. MARIA ROBINSON, Miss F.E. MUNFORD and Mrs. J.H. TIMBERLAKE. The Richmond Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, also adopted resolutions. The committee appointed to attend the services from the chapter includes Mrs. N. V. RANDOLPH, Mrs. HUGH MILLER, Mrs. B. A. BLENNER and Miss JULIA A.M. LEE. The Confederate Memorial Literary Society sent a telegram of sympathy to Mrs. J. ADDISON HAYES, daughter of Mrs. DAVIS, Wednesday, October 17, 1906, expressing sympathy for her in her bereavement, Mrs. ALFRED GRAY, Mrs. JAMES D. WERTH, Mrs. THOMAS J. BOCOCK and Mrs. J. ENDERS ROBINSON were appointed a committee to represent the chapter at the funeral. It was announced Wednesday, October 17, 1906 that the body of Mrs. JEFFERSON DAVIS will be taken to Richmond Thursday night, October 18, 1906. It will be accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. J. ADDISON HAYES, JEFFERSON DAVIS HAYES and Dr. WEBB all of the immediate family. The Guard of Honor of Confederate Veterans, in charge of MAJOR EDWARD OWEN, Commanding Confederate Veteran Camp of New York, will accompany the body to Richmond. Mrs. J.H. PARKER, president and a delegation of the New York Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy will be included in the party. Among the telegrams of condolence received Wednesday, October 17, 1906 by Mrs. DAVIS' s daughter, was from Mrs. PICKETT, wife of the famous Confederate General. Many letters and telegrams were received from the various chapters of the Daughters of the Confederacy and the camps of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Washington, DC, October 17 - President ROOSEVELT on Wednesday, October 17, 1906, sent the following telegram to Mrs. J. ADDISON HAYES, expressing the sympathy of Mrs. ROOSEVELT and himself over the death of her mother:

"The White House, Washington, DC., October 17, 1906. Mrs. J. ADDISON HAYES, Hotel Majestic, New York City. Pray accept the most sincere sympathy of Mrs. ROOSEVELT and myself, THEODORE ROOSEVELT."

The president and his wife also have sent flowers for the funeral of Mrs. DAVIS.

New York, October 17 - Many prominent persons, including a large number of southern friends of the family, called Wednesday, October 17, 1906 at the Hotel Majestic to condole with the relatives over her death. Telegrams were received from all parts of the country, an especially large number coming from the southern states. The body will be taken from this city Thursday, October 18, 1906 at 9:30 pm. A Guard of Honor, the membership of which has not been given out, will accompany the body from the hotel to the train and on the train to Richmond. General THEODORE S. GARNETT of Norfolk, Commanding the Virginia Division, United Confederate Veterans, was in receipt Wednesday, October 17, 1906 of an order from General STEPHEN D. LEE, commanding the United Confederate Veterans, relative to her death. Assuming the duties imposed by this order, General GARNETT, Wednesday, October 17, 1906 announced the following appointments for attending the fundal obsequies of Mrs. DAVIS, to be held Friday, October 19, 1906 in Richmond, Virginia.

Honorary Pallbearers: Generals STEPHEN D. LEE, Mississippi; A. P. STEWART, Tennessee; S.B. BUCKNER, Kentucky; L.L. LOMAX, Virginia; R.F. HOKE, North Carolina; W.L. CABELL, Texas; JAMES H. LANE, Alabama; MARCUS J. WRIGHT, Washington, DC; C. IRVINE WALKER, South Carolina; CLEMENT A. EVANS, Georgia; W.P. ROBERTS, North Carolina.

Active Pallbearers: Major Generals THOMAS W. CARWILE, South Carolina; JULIAN S. CARR, North Carolina; GEORGE W. GORDON, Tennessee; F. P. FLEMING, Florida; GEORGE P. HARRISON, Alabama; ROBERT LOWRY, Mississippi; C.M. WILEY, Georgia; BENNETT H. YOUNG, Kentucky; K.M. VAN ZANT, Texas; JAMES B. GANTT, Missouri; N. H. ROBERTS, Arkansas; WILLIAM E. MICKLE, Louisiana; A. C. TRIPPE, Maryland; ROBERT WHITE, West Virginia; BRIGADIER GENERAL STITH BOLLING, Virginia and COLONEL EDWARD OWEN, New York.

The representatives of all camps of the United Confederate Veterans' Association have been requested to report their attendance in Richmond and will be assigned places in the procession. Confederate Veterans from all parts of Virginia and the Virginia Camps of Sons of Veterans will be represented at the funeral. Commander H..C. HOGGARD, of Pickett-Buchanan Camp of Veterans, Thursday, October 18,1906 appointed a committee of ten to attend the funeral and Commander PEATROSS of the Norfolk Sons of Veterans, appointed a committee of 14 to represent the camp at the obsequies. State Commander W. W. OLD of the Virginia Sons of Veterans, appointed a committee of 12 from different cities of the state to represent the entire Virginia Sons at the funeral. The committees are as follows:

From the Pickett-Buchanan Camp, C.V.: General THEO. S. GARNETT, past Commanders JAMES M. KEELING, W.C. WHITTLE, RICHARD A. DOBIE, D.S. BURWELL, GEORGE T. PARKER, HENRY FINK, WALTER A. EDWARDS and Comrades O.H. PERRY, ROBERT BROUGHTON and any others who may desire to attend the funeral.


From the Virginia Division, United Sons of Veterans: JOHN B. LIGHTFOOT JR of Richmond; JAMES P. BARNES of Petersburg; SAMUEL D. RODGERS of Petersburg; CLARENCE VAIDEN of Manchester; JAMES F. TATEM of Berkeley; R.W. PEATROSS of Norfolk; J. STEWART BRYAN of Richmond; FRANK L. CROCKER of Portsmouth; C.A. ASHBY of Newport News and T. S. GARNETT of Norfolk. Commander W. W. OLD JR, of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans of Virginia, Thursday afternoon, October 18, 1906 directed thought the press that all local camps in all parts of the state proceed at once to name delegates to represent them at the funeral. Where the camps cannot be called to meet in time to take appropriate actions and elect delegates the camp commanders are authorized to name the delegates to attend the funeral in Richmond.

From Pickett-Buchanan Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy: Mrs. JAMES Y. LEIGH, Mrs. CHAS. G. ELLIOTT, Mrs. W. W. OLD and Mrs. H. C. HOGGARD. The chapter met Wednesday, October 17, 1906 and adopted appropriate resolutions.


Richmond, Virginia, October 17 - Mrs. J. ADDISON HAYES of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the only daughter of Mrs. DAVIS, desires a military funeral for her mother. This request was made known Wednesday, October 17, 1906 in a telegram which was received by Lieutenant Governor J. TAYLOR ELLYSON as follows:

"New York October 17, 1906. Lieutenant Governor J. TAYLOR ELLYSON, Richmond, Virginia: Mother wishes every mark of respect and a military funeral, such as WINNIE had. Please advise me as to arrangements. Gratefully yours, (Signed) MARGARET JEFFERSON DAVIS HAYES"

Columbia, South Carolina, October 17 - Governor D. C. HEYWARD, on Wednesday, October 17, 1906 sent the following telegram of condolence, "Please allow me in behalf of our state, to tender you or deepest sympathy in the death of your venerable and venerated mother. We share, with all who loved her in the Southland and elsewhere, your sorrow, which brings memories of your distinguished father and of other days."

Birmingham, Alabama, October 17 - THOMAS M. OWEN, of Montgomery, Commander in Chief of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans, Wednesday, October 17, 1906, issued a general order to the United States Sons of Confederate Veterans, calling upon the camps to hold memorial exercises in honor of MRS. DAVIS.

Friday, October 19, 1906 New York, October 18, 1906 - A simple and brief funeral service was held Thursday, October 18, 1906 at the Hotel Majestic. Rev N. A. SEAGLE of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, officiated. He was assisted by Rev Dr. GEORGE S. BAKER, Chaplain of the Southern Society and Rev HENRY LUBREK, rector of St Timothy's Church. The service was private, only the immediate family, representatives of the United Daughter's of the Confederacy and a small number of intimate friends being present. Numerous wreaths covered the casket, one of which was sent by President and Mrs. ROOSEVELT. Other floral tributes came from the governors of many southern states and from various societies of which she was a member. Late Thursday evening, the body was taken to the Pennsylvania Railroad Station and started on the journey to Richmond, Virginia. A company of artillery from Governor's Island, acted as military escort. A squad of mounted police, the band from Governor's Island and carriage containing members of the family, followed the hearse.

Richmond, Virginia, October 18 - The remains will arrive in Richmond Friday, October 19, 1906, where they will be met by members of the Davis Family and an escort of Virginia soldiery and Confederate Veterans. From the station, the body will be taken to St Paul's Episcopal Church, where it will lie in state until Friday, October 19, 1906 when services will be conducted by Rev Dr. FORSYTH, assisted by several other ministers. The body will then be escorted out to the Davis Section of Hollywood Cemetery and laid to rest near the grave of President DAVIS, in the spot selected by her some time ago. The procession from the church to Hollywood will be as imposing as any event ever observed in Richmond. The governors of the 13 states of the Confederacy, nearly all the surviving Confederate Soldiers of high rank, survivors of the Confederate Congress and other branches of the government, state and city officials, Confederate Veterans of Virginia and other southern states, the volunteer military organizations, the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Sons of Veterans, the various Confederate Memorial Associations, the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, the Jefferson Davis Monument Association and similar organizations will unite in this final tribute to the wife of the Civil Leader of the Confederacy. When the remains, accompanied by her children and immediate connections arrive in the city, they will be met by a detail of veterans, six each from Lee and Pickett Camps, Confederate Veterans, who will escort the casket to the church. The men who will act as escort were selected at meetings of the camps tonight. All the morning and honorary guard will stand over the body, the men coming in details of two and remaining an hour or so each near the bier. From one end of the country to the other, tributes to her have been pouring in. Various meetings are being held all over the United States and

Saturday, October 20, 1906oops(NEED TO COPY PAGE 1 TO ADD TO THIS) small silver plate bearing the inscription: "VARINA JEFFERSON DAVIS. Born May 7, 1826, Died October 16, 1906. At Peace" Her resting place is next to that of her husband. A noteworthy personage at the obsequies was JAMES JONES, a Negro man who drove the Davis Family carriage during the war, and he now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He attended the funerals of President DAVIS and Miss WINNIE DAVIS. Though now bent with age and much enfeebled, he insisted on being present today. Taps were sounded over her grave by Bugler CORWADAN of the Richmond Howitzers, who performed a similar serve for her husband and daughter. Thus ended the sad ceremonies of Friday, October 19, 1906 in the old capital of the Confederacy.

NOTE: A few pages back list the Honorary and Active pallbearers. They following was printed after the funeral listing the Honorary pallbearers. I noticed more names, so I will retype what was printed as follows:

Lieutenant Governor ELLYSON, who, at the request of the family, had entire charge of the funeral directions, Friday, October 19, 1906 gave out the following list of Honorary pallbearers: Governor CLAUDE A. SWANSON, Mayor CARLTON MCCARTH, Lieutenant General STEPHEN D. LEE, Colonel ARCHER ANDERSON, Judge JAMES KEITH, United States Senator THOMAS S. MARTIN, Representative JOHN LAMB, Lieutenant Governor J. TAYLOR ELLYSON, ex Governor A.J. MONTAGUE, ex Governor WILLIAM E. CAMERON, President WILLIAM M. TURPIN of the Board of Aldermen, President ROBERT LEE PETERS of the Common Council, Colonel WILFRED E. CUTSHAW, Colonel T. TALCOTT, Major ROBERT W. HUNTER, the Rev JAMES POWER SMITH, the Rev JOHN WILLIAM JONES, Colonel WILLIAM H. PALMER, Colonel JOHN B. PURCELL, JOHN P. BRANCH, EDGAR D. TAYLOR, Captain E.J. LEVY, E.J. BOSHER, PETER MAYO, L.Z. MORRIS, Colonel A.S. BUFORD and Confederate Veterans JOHN A. LAMB and E.L. REDWOOD.

The following acted as aides to the marshal: JOHN E. EILETT, Colonel JOHN W. GORDON, JAMES N. BOYD, JOSEPH M. FOURQUREAN, Captain W. BEN PALMER, Major L.T. CHRISTIAN, JAMES R. WERT, E.A. CATLIN, JOSEPH BRYAN, D. C. RICHARDSON and Major OTWAY S. ALLEN, all of this city and the following from the Grand Camp Confederate Veterans of Virginia; General STITH BOLLING of Petersburg, Colonel W. A. STEWART, Captain D. A. BROWN and Colonel JOSEPH V. BIDGOOD.

Friday, January 4, 1907 Montgomery, Alabama, January 3 - Tributes to Mrs. DAVIS in manuscript or other eligible form brought forth by her recent death will be sent to the Ladies Memorial Association, to be kept at Montgomery, "the cradle of the Confederacy."

Last Updated: 27 Jan 1999
Contributed by Gay & Tim Wall on the CSA-History List
Original research by Ann Marie(Byrnes) LaDue email: [email protected]
Contact Josephine Lindsay Bass E-Mail Address: [email protected]

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