By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Did "Beauvoir", the home of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy during the Civil War, survive Hurricane Katrina when it hit Biloxi, MS?

A: As was feared the Mississippi Gulf coast was devastated during Hurricane Katrina, leaving many historic properties and rare landmarks in ruins. Although both Beauvoir which was the last home of Jefferson Davis and the Presidential Library suffered heavy damage, thankfully these buildings were not completely destroyed.

Unfortunately, the Library pavillion where Jefferson Davis penned "The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government" was totally destroyed along with the Hayes cottage, a replica Soldier's Home Barracks, Confederate Soldier's Museum, Giftshop, and the director's home. Locals here say the survival of Beauvoir has become the spirit of determination of recovery on the coast. “The mansion and Presidential Library both can be rebuilt, but it is going to require help from all.

Efforts are underway now to begin Beauvoir recovery,” says William Earl Faggert of Beauvoir who adds donations are now being accepted for financial assistance. Jefferson Davis spent his last years here, enjoying the view, and writing his memoirs. Listed on the National Historic Register, Beauvoir is also a National Historic Landmark, as well as one of Mississippi's Archaeological Landmarks.

As far as timeline for restoration, it is planned that once the Beauvoir House and Presidential Library are fully restored, restoration of the other buildings will then begin.

Donations can be mailed to Mississippi Division - United Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. The Jefferson Davis Home & Presidential Library P O Box 7 Meridian, MS 39302-0007.


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