The Papers of Jefferson Davis
 
The Papers of Jefferson Davis

The children of Jefferson & Varina Davis, c1867 (l to r): Jeff Jr., Margaret (Maggie), Varina Anne (Winnie), and William (Billy) Library of Congress

 

Chronology

 

Imprisonment (1865-67)

Brackets indicate dates and entries that follow logically from information in primary sources but are not explicitly stated.

1865
May 22
Imprisoned at Fortress Monroe
May 23
Manacled; irons removed less than a week later because of public outcry and Davis' ill health
[June]
[First indictment for treason handed down in U.S. Circuit Court, District of Virginia (for more information about the case, see the FAQ); another indictment brought later in the year in the District of Columbia]
August 21
Writes first letter to Varina Davis since his imprisonment
December 9
Charles F. E. Minnigerode, rector of St. Paul's in Richmond, allowed to make the first of what become twice-a-month visits to Davis
1866
March-April
Varina Davis and family in Canada, along with Varina's mother, Margaret K. Howell, who keeps the children when Varina returns to Virginia
April 26
Andrew Johnson grants Varina Davis permission to visit her husband
May 3
Varina Davis sees her husband for the first time in almost a year; Davis' former secretary Burton Harrison also allowed to visit
May 8
Indicted for treason by grand jury for the U.S. Circuit Court, District of Virginia
June 5, 6
Court convenes in Richmond; decides that trial cannot be held that summer
June 7
Salmon P. Chase declines to issue writ of habeas corpus, claiming that it would be invalid since Virginia is under martial law
June 11
U.S. Circuit Court Judge John C. Underwood refuses to set bail since Davis technically a military prisoner
August-December
Varina Davis in Montreal
 
1867
April 10
Varina Davis returns to Fortress Monroe after traveling to Charleston and Baltimore
May 1
Writ of habeas corpus granted
May 8
Franklin Pierce visits
May 10
Burton Harrison arrives at Fortress Monroe with the writ of habeas corpus
May 11
Taken to Richmond; housed under guard at the Spotswood Hotel in the same room he had when he reached Richmond in May 1861
May 13
Appears in court before Judge Underwood; bail set at $100,000; bond posted by Horace Greeley, abolitionist Gerrit Smith, a representative of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and ten Richmond businessmen; to "deafening applause," freed after two years of confinement; meets Greeley for the first time

How to Reach Us

The Papers of Jefferson Davis
Rice University--MS 43
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892
Phone: (713) 348-4990
Fax: (713) 348-4383
E-mail: davis@rice.edu