By Patrick Saylor
Director, Marketing Communication
Old homes hold many stories within their walls, and the house at 12th and Clay Streets in Richmond is no exception. As the residence of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family from 1861-1865, the White House was the scene of many conversations and interactions, both public and private, among family members, free and enslaved servants, and visitors.
By Robert Hancock
Senior Curator and Director of Collections
This wooden shoe, or sabot, was made on Bremo Plantation in Virginia. Made by, and for the use of the enslaved people on the plantation, they also were distributed to Confederate soldiers during the war.
One hundred and fifty years ago this month, an estimated 300,000 southerners, white and black, faced the real prospect of famine. The immediate cause of the crisis was not the effects of civil war and emancipation, but drought and crop failure during the 1866 growing season. The Federal government, through the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands – the “Freedmen’s Bureau” – budgeted $500,000 in aid, and private organizations mobilized throughout the United States to raise and distribute money, food, and clothing.