Beauvoir was the last home of Jefferson Davis and it was the site of his retirement.
The house was built by James Brown, a wealthy plantation owner from Madison County, Mississippi. The house was started in late 1848 and was completed in 1852. The house was built as a summer home for his wife and his (eventually 13) children. It was then called Orange Grove, due to the Satsuma Oranges being grown on the property. Mr. Brown died in 1866 and his widow continued to own the property until 1873 when she was forced to sell the property at public auction to pay and satisfy the taxes due on her husband's estate. Frank Johnson, a land speculator purchased the house for taxes and then sold the house and property three months later.
Sarah Dorsey was the next owner of the property and when she first looked out over the Mississippi Sound from the front porch of the house, she said "Oh my, what a beautiful view - that's what I am going to call this property: Beauvoir!" (Which is French for beautiful view or beautiful to look at). From that point on - the property was known as Beauvoir.
In 1877, Jefferson Davis was looking for a quiet retreat to write his books and papers. While inspecting property on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, he paid a courtesy call on Mrs. Dorsey (a family friend). He told her of his plans to try to find a place to write his memoirs. She encouraged him to stay at Beauvoir in one of the two pavilions in front of Beauvoir House to write his books. He agree
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