Jefferson Davis, former president of the Confederate States of American, died on December 6, 1889 at the New Orleans home of Judge Charles E. Fenner. Later that day his body was removed to the City Hall at Lafayette Square (now Gallier Hall), where it remained in state until December 11.
On that date the body was carried by a funeral procession through the streets of New Orleans to Metairie Cemetery. Davis was buried there in the tomb of the Army of Northern Virginia. On May 27, 1893, his remains were transferred to a new casket and placed in state at Confederate Memorial Hall for a day before being removed to the Louisville & Nashville train that carried them to Richmond, Virginia, for reinterment in the Hollywood Cemetery.
The nine photographic prints document several aspects of the Davis funeral. Six of the prints show scenes inside and outside of City Hall (now Gallier Hall) on St. Charles Avenue. In addition to documenting the funeral itself, they also provide useful information on the appearance, both interior and exterior, of City Hall as well as exterior details of the surrounding buildings and Lafayette Square. One print shows the funeral procession on the way to the cemetery and two show the tomb where Davis was buried.
The original photographs were dry mounted by Louisiana Division staff some years ago. Prior to that action they were housed in a small bound volume in the Louisiana Division's rare book collection. Additional research will be required to determine how the photographs came to NOPL originally.
Research is also needed to identify the photographer responsible for the images. Leonard V. Huber used one of the photographs in his New Orleans: A Pictorial History (1971) and attributed it to C. H. Adams, a photographer known to have been working in the Crescent City during 1889. Engravings based on seven of the photographs appear in The Davis Memorial Volume by J. William Jones, published in New Orleans in 1890.