I-28154.1 | Jefferson Davis' children, Montreal, QC, 1867
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)
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.
Margaret (12) Jefferson Jr. (10), William (6) and Winnie (3) are the children of Varnia and Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate states.
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.
This photograph was taken when Jefferson Davis was reunited with his family in Montreal in 1867.
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.