joy magnetism: Died of a theory*

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Died of a theory*

Magnet #858 - White House of the Confederacy

And, here it is, the White House of the Confederacy, nestled in the heart of Richmond, where we went last week on the BFF Babymoon Over the Confederacy roadtrip. It's part of the adjacent Museum of the Confederacy.

I always feel a little weird going anywhere with heavy Southern sympathizer tendencies, mainly because some of the teachers I had growing up in the South were old enough to remember the last years of an America before the Civil Rights movement. I remember being the fifth grader asking the hard question about which camp this little Filipino girl would fall in. And, I was always considered the Yankee (and foreigner) who moved from Chicago to North kindergarten.

But, I suppose history is something you can't ignore, and when you're here in the South, it's almost unavoidable. But last week, we actively sought out history, to look it right in the face.

The Museum of the Confederacy was actually a pretty cool little museum - it takes you through the major battles of the Civil War, which of course, I totally related back to North and South, and the battles that Orry and Billy Main and George Hazard fought.

But the White House was supercool. It was the residence of Jefferson and Varina Davis, and their six kids. He took us through the receiving room, as well as the sitting and retiring rooms, as well as the upstairs private rooms. Though some of the decor was questionable, it was quite amazing to walk the halls of history.

From the coal-shaped "IED" that the confederates would stuff with gunpowder and stick into coal piles to be able to blow up ships/trains, to the rubber hoses made by Mr. Goodyear to pipe gas down from the chandeliers to the table lamps. And learning that Jeff Davis didn't believe in disciplining his six kids, believing that it would stifle much so that whenever they placed nanny ads, they had to place it blindly, with a fake address and a fake name, so that no one knew it was for the Davis kids.

C'mon, that's a movie in the making right there.

Such a great tour. And you know I always say that the tour guide makes the tour. Always.

The 3pm tour last Thursday the 24th of June? Out. Standing. He was so good. You could tell the kid wanted to share much more about the lives of Jefferson and Varina Davis, and the Civil War. He was just bursting with information, and he was coaxing us to ask the right questions.

Loved it. No matter how you feel about the War between the States, this museum/tour is definitely on my Recommend list!

“If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory.”
- Jefferson Davis

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