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Sat, 01.14.1815

The White House of the Confederacy is Built

*On this date in 1815, The White House of the Confederacy was built.  This is a historic house located in the Court End neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia.

Built as the main executive residence of the sole President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, from August 1861 until April 1865. It was viewed as the Confederate States counterpart to the White House in Washington, D.C. The First White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery, Alabama, was the first official residence of the president and his family. The second White House of the Confederacy is a gray stucco neoclassical mansion built in 1818 by John Brockenbrough, who was president of the Bank of Virginia.

Designed by Robert Mills, Brockenbrough's second private residence in Richmond was built on K Street (later renamed Clay Street) in Richmond's Shockoe Hill neighborhood, near the slave market Shockoe Bottom and two blocks north of the Virginia State Capitol. Among his neighbors were U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall, Aaron Burr's defense attorney John Wickham, and future U.S. Senator Benjamin Watkins Leigh.  Sold by the Brockenbrough family in 1844, the house passed through a succession of wealthy families throughout the antebellum period, including U.S. Congressman and future Confederate Secretary of War James Seddon. Just prior to the American Civil War, Lewis Dabney Crenshaw purchased the house and added a third floor.

He sold the home to the City of Richmond, which in turn rented it to the Confederate government as its Executive Mansion.  The Jefferson Davis Executive Mansion was owned by the Confederate Memorial Literary Society from 1894 until 2014 when the Museum of the Confederacy merged with the American Civil War Center. The merged entity is now the American Civil War Museum. The house museum is known as the White House of the Confederacy. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. 


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