Varina Davis, Southern Women and Civil War

Here’s Professor Joan Cashin discussing Varina Howell Davis, the second wife of confederate president Jefferson Davis. This is really an excellent presentation with a lot of good information.

The video’s description reads, “In celebration of Women’s History Month and in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, the Arkansas Women’s History Institute and the Clinton School present a lecture on the role of Southern women in the Civil War. An associate professor at Ohio State University, Joan Cashin discusses the role of women in Arkansas and across the South in the war and provide commentary about her book First Lady of the Confederacy: Varina Davis’s Civil War, about the wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Cashin specializes in the social, economic and cultural history of the United States, including the antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Her book won the Fletcher Pratt Award from the Civil War Roundtable of New York.”

An interesting thing I learned was Jefferson Davis, while married to Varina, fell in love with and most likely had an affair with Virginia Clay, the wife of confederate senator Clement Clay.


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