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Collection Number: 05046-z

Collection Title: Houston Family Papers, 1887-1909, 1956

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 17 items
Abstract The Houston family included a Mrs. Houston who corresponded with Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis's widow, during the 1880s and 1900s from Meridian, Miss. Mrs. Houston may have made Varina Davis's acquaintance when Jefferson and Varina Davis lived at Beauvoir Station, Miss. Varina Davis was born on 7 May 1826 and became Jefferson Davis's second wife on 26 February 1845. After Jefferson Davis's death in 1889, Varina Davis wrote Jefferson Davis: A Memoir by His Wife and moved to New York City where she supported herself by writing for newspapers and magazines. She died on 16 October 1906. The collection is chiefly correspondence and other items related to the Houston family and to Varina Davis. Included are letters, 1899-1904, from Varina Davis to Mrs. Houston describing Davis's health, family travels, Jefferson Davis, books, and the South following the Civil War. Also included is a letter, 27 September 1887, that Jefferson Davis wrote to Mrs. Houston about southern women. There are also genealogical papers relating to the Houston family, a newspaper image of Mary Sue Houston, and pictures of portraits of Jefferson and Varina Davis.
Creator Houston family.
Language English.
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Provenance
Received from Eugene Houston McJunkin and Irma McJunkin of Statesville, N.C., in July 1987 (Acc. 98836) and August 2000 (Acc. 98711).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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The Houston family included a Mrs. Houston who corresponded with Varina Davis during the 1880s and 1900s from Meridian, Miss. Mrs. Houston may have made Varina Davis's acquaintance when Jefferson and Varina Davis lived at Beauvoir Station, Miss. Mrs. Houston appears to have been related to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Finley Houston.

Varina Davis was born on 7 May 1826, the daughter of William Burr and Margaret Kempe Howell. She became Jefferson Davis's second wife on 26 February 1845. Well educated, Varina Davis served as the official hostess for the Confederacy during the Civil War, suffered hardships after the war, and helped Jefferson Davis write The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881). After Jefferson Davis's death in 1889, Varina Davis wrote Jefferson Davis: A Memoir by His Wife and moved to New York City. She supported herself by writing for newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday World. She died on 16 October 1906.

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Chiefly correspondence and other items related to the Houston family and to Varina Davis. Included are letters, 1899-1904, from Varina Davis to Mrs. Houston in Meridian, Miss., describing Davis's health, family travels, Jefferson Davis, books, and the South following the Civil War. Also included is a letter, 27 September 1887, that Jefferson Davis wrote to Mrs. Houston about southern women. There are also genealogical papers relating to the Houston family, a newspaper image of Mary Sue Houston, and pictures of portraits of Jefferson and Varina Davis.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1887-1909, 1956.

17 items.

Chiefly correspondence and other items related to the Houston family and to Varina Davis. Included are letters, 1899-1904, from Varina Davis to Mrs. Houston in Meridian, Miss., describing Davis's health, family travels, Jefferson Davis, books, and the South following the Civil War. Also included is a letter, 27 September 1887, that Jefferson Davis wrote to Mrs. Houston about southern women. There are also genealogical papers relating to the Houston family, a newspaper image of Mary Sue Houston, and pictures of portraits of Jefferson and Varina Davis.

Folder 1

Correspondence, 1887-1909 #05046-z, Series: "Papers, 1887-1909, 1956." Folder 1

Includes a letter from Jefferson Davis to Mrs. Houston, 27 September 1887; a letter from Varina Davis to Mrs. Houston, 20 May 1899; two letters from Varina Davis to Mrs. Houston, 23 August 1904 and 23 September 1904; a letter from Varina Davis to Mrs. Houston, 27 April 1904; a letter from Margaret H. Jefferson Davis Hayes to Mrs. Houston, 31 January 1909; a clipping with a picture of Mary Sue Houston; and a list of births in the Howell family, 1835-1844.

Folder 2

Houston Family Geneology #05046-z, Series: "Papers, 1887-1909, 1956." Folder 2

Addition of August 2000: two handwritten genealogical accounts of the Houston family; and two clippings of a historical sketch of the Houston families, 22 August 1956 and 29 August 1956.

Image Folder PF-5046/1

Jefferson and Varina Davis #05046-z, Series: "Papers, 1887-1909, 1956." PF-5046/1

Reproductions of portraits and photographs removed from a Houston family album.

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Image Folder (PF-5046/1).

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