Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/334

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328 Southern Historical Society Papers.

had with her. She challenged him in such a way that he, despite his greater age, could not back out. During the contest she lost her riding hat and the fastenings of her hair, so that her long tresses fell down and were streaming in the wind. This only incited her the more. She urged on her steed, and crying out, " Come on, Doctor, here goes Pocahontas," dashed ahead of him and won the race. She died March 7, 1891, in Alexandria, Va. ; aged, seventy-eight years.

There was also a third daughter, who became Mrs. Albert White. She lived mostly in Washington, but was married here, at her mother's, and I witnessed the ceremony. Mr. White was United States Senator from the State of Indiana.

So much for the maidens who enjoyed and adorned the old Brock - enbrough mansion and its environments. Now for the mansion itself.


Dr. Brockenbrough removed from Richmond to the Warm Springs and early in the year 1844 sold his residence here. So that about eighteen years elapsed between that date and the time at which Presi- dent Davis and family were domiciled in it. During that period great changes were wrought in the building. The purchaser of it for $20,000 was Mr. James M. Morson, who was a gentleman of am- bition and taste, and of very liberal views in regard to their indul- gence and gratification. He had the means and the disposition to have the house refitted and furnished in an exceptional style. He added to it its third story and had it decorated entirely anew. I am quite sure that he introduced those exquisite sculptured mantel-pieces. I have some recollection of his taking me up to see them and his other improvements whilst they were going on, for we had been inti- mate friends from our schoolmate days. After he took possession of the remodeled edifice he gave very handsome entertainments, be- sides dispensing a general refined hospitality. Thus the compliment paid by Mrs. Davis would apply to him as well as to the original owners and designers. He also further embellished the grounds.


When Mr. Morson removed to his country-seat, Dover, in Gooch- land county, he sold for twenty -five thousand dollars his city resi- dence, in 1845, to his sister-in-law, who became the wife of the Hon. James A. Seddon, another gentleman of taste and culture, who was a member of Mr. Davis's Cabinet as secretary of war. Mr. Morson and Mr. Seddon were cousins, and were once associated as partners in the practice of law.