Donald J. Green
Jefferson Davis’s New York City
Most of us would agree that New York and the South are very different places today, both culturally and politically. Yet, surprisingly, during the 19th century they shared a common outlook. As a native New Yorker, Donald J. Green was astonished to learn that Varina Davis, the First Lady of the Confederacy, and her daughter Winnie, “The daughter of the Confederacy,” moved to New York City after Jefferson Davis died in 1889. While researching Varina’s life in New York, he discovered that thousands of Confederates moved to the big city after the Civil War. Green’s investigation uncovered close ties between New York and the South dating back to pre-Civil War, and his research proved what began as a business association between the regions over cotton evolved into personal affinities. A fascinating deep dive into the Confederates’ remarkable connection with New York City, Jefferson Davis’s New York City also demonstrates the power of change.