I-28154.1 | Jefferson Davis' children, Montreal, QC, 1867

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Jefferson Davis' children, Montreal, QC, 1867
William Notman (1826-1891)
1867, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
13.9 x 10 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  family (800) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

Victorian children were expected to meet societal expectations regarding decorum. Education reflected these concerns and many middle-class girls were sent to convent schools. "Where there are nuns, girls are modest and reserved, in a word, what they should be." These girls were therefore seen to have moral and social advantages. Parents, and future husbands, were assured of their purity.

Twelve-year-old convent-educated Margaret Davis poses here with her three siblings. The girls are shown with feminine attributes--flowers and books--while the boys are seen with objects associated with a more active masculine lifestyle: a rifle and a hoop and stick.

Annales de la Maison Mère des Soeurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal, April 1881-82, p. 130-33.

  • What

    Margaret (12) Jefferson Jr. (10), William (6) and Winnie (3) are the children of Varnia and Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate states.

  • Where

    Varnia Davis and the children moved to Montreal in 1865 and stayed until 1867, while Jefferson was in jail awaiting trial for his role in the American Civil War.

  • When

    This photograph was taken when Jefferson Davis was reunited with his family in Montreal in 1867.

  • Who

    Margaret was well educated. She married in 1876 and raised four children. She was involved in charitable causes and was considered a leading member of society.