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Object Record

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Object Name Box, Needlework
Catalog Number 0985.07.00050
Description This is a small wooden sewing chest (.50). The outside is stained to look like an exotic inlay and has six floral engraved hinges, four corners and a double latch. A large bottom drawer spans the length and depth of the case. The doors open to reveal six smaller drawers and these are inlaid with exotic woods in the same geometric pattern as worked on the outer portion. The contents include a calling card (.50a) of Jefferson Davis, and 26 buttons (.50b-aa).
Dimensions H-8.625 W-9.5 D-5.625 inches
Owned Varina Banks Howell Davis; Mrs. Clyde ; Mrs. William P. Clyde (tentative)
Provenance This was used by Varina Banks Howell Davis. It was given by her at some point to Mrs Clyde, wife of the head of the Clyde Steamer Line in recognition of the courtesy extended to herself and President Davis by them.

"When Mr. Davis was taken prisoner, feeling against him in the North was very high. He was to be taken to Fortress Monroe on a Clyde Company steamer. Mr. Clyde, the owner of the company, was fearful lest Davis be treated with disrespect, so he gave explicit directions to the captain of the steamer to show Mr. Davis ever courtesy if possible. After the trip, Mrs. Davis, who was with her husband, sent this cabinet [needlework box] to Mrs. Clyde to express her gratitude for Mr. Clyde's thoughtfulness. Mr. Davis' visiting card was in the cabinet." (note with artifact)

Research indicates that Captain Enoch More of the Union side-wheel steamer William P. Clyde transported Jefferson Davis to Fortress Monroe. A William P. Clyde was president of the Clyde Line, founded by his father Thomas Clyde; it is thus believed that Mrs. William P. Clyde was the recipient of this box.
People Davis, Varina Banks Howell [Mrs. Jefferson]
Howell, Varina Banks
Clyde, Mrs.
Clyde, William P., Mrs. (tentative)
Search Terms White House of the Confederacy (tentative)
Fortress Monroe
imprisonment of Jefferson Davis at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, 1865-1867
Subjects Sewing
Needlework
gifts