Beauvoir interested in new Jefferson Davis statue

Photo courtesy Sons of Confederate Veterans
Photo courtesy Sons of Confederate Veterans

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A new statue of Jefferson Davis, in need of a permanent home, may end up in Biloxi.

The director of Beauvoir says he'd love to have the life size bronze sculpture of the former President of the Confederacy.

The "Sons of Confederate Veterans" has been looking for somewhere to place the statue for more than a year now.

"If you look at this statue here, it looks like he is welcoming people to Beauvoir. He's got his hand extended," said Richard Forte, the director of Beauvoir.

The Jefferson Davis statue that now graces the entrance to Beauvoir once stood in the presidential library, but was relocated to a new spot after Katrina.

The national "Sons of Confederate Veterans" commissioned a new statue of Davis more than a year ago; a statue that shows him with two young children.

Plans to locate it in Richmond, Virginia fell through and a push to place the statue on the grounds of the state capitol in Mississippi doesn't look good. That gives Beauvoir an opportunity.

"First thing that entered my mind, you know, if there's any kind of debate about where to put the statue, I know where he needs to be. He needs to be home," said Forte.

Home, as in Beauvoir, the last historic home of Jefferson Davis.

"Now the Mississippi division executive council and the national SCV council have to give their approval, but I've heard positive things. So, I hope it comes to Beauvoir. It's a great statue and it's got a good story," said Forte.

The new statue depicts Jefferson Davis with two young children. One is his son, Joe Davis. The other is a young African-American boy named Jim Limber, who was adopted by the Davis family. It's a story not widely known, but one you can learn about at Beauvoir's gift shop.

"Jim Limber was a five-year-old black child that Jefferson and Varina Davis adopted during the war between the states and raised as a free black, and treated just as one of their children," said Forte.

He will take the request to Beauvoir's board of directors on Saturday.

"I believe we have a great chance of having the statue here. It would be a great honor to have it here," said the director.

The new statue of Davis with the children is currently located in the studio of the Lexington, Virginia artist who created it.