AAA Editor Notes
The White House of the Confederacy is next to The Museum of the Confederacy at 1201 E. Clay St. This was the executive mansion of President Jefferson Davis and his family during the Civil War. The house was built in Richmond's fashionable Court End neighborhood in 1818. The neoclassical structure was expanded over the years; in the process a third story was added as were a carriage house and stable. Wallpaper, gasoliers, carpet and draperies were among the decorative enhancements.
When the capitol of the Confederacy moved to Richmond, the city purchased the home and leased it to the Confederate States of America. And, although the building came to be known as The White House of the Confederacy, it is actually not white at all, but a light gray color.
The mansion became the hub of Richmond's social and political scene, and visitors were welcome at public receptions. Because of health issues, Davis used his home office to conduct state and military business, and cabinet members and military advisors were frequent guests.
A 45-minute guided tour, which departs from The Museum of the Confederacy lobby, starts in the mansion's basement and explores the first and second floors. Visitors see the first-floor entrance hall, parlor, library and elegant dining room, where formal dinners and cabinet meetings were held. Davis' office, his secretary's office, and the family's private quarters, including a large nursery, are on the second floor.
As the city has grown over the years, the house is now virtually surrounded by the VCU Medical Center and other office buildings.
Guided tours are available.