2015 Road Trip Photos #43: Jefferson Davis Rules

Jefferson Davis Statue!

Oh, we know we are in Dixie. Hooray. Hooray?

Presidential sites are a common go-to on our road trips. We’ve done Presidential homes, Presidential gravesites, places where Presidential events occurred, statues of Presidential Presidents, paintings of Presidential winners and wannabes, and so on. Our drive through southern Mississippi on Day Five had given us a closer look at the post-term life of a very different leader — Jefferson Davis, the first and last President of the Confederate States of America, who spent his final years writing his memoirs at Beauvoir. Davis would’ve reigned the entirety of his scheduled six-year term if it hadn’t been for that darn Civil War and all those meddlesome Yankee kids. To his credit, he lasted a lot longer in office than William Henry Harrison and six other full-fledged American Presidents did.

Maybe Davis’ endurance is one of the reasons Montgomery, Alabama, still holds a place in its collective heart for him, as we found on the morning of Day Six. Hence the large statue shown above, which stands tall on the grounds of the Alabama State Capitol. Our long walk around this mostly deserted metropolis had turned up a significant number of great moments in civil rights history, among other various commemorative images and places up and down its streets. But Davis and his legacy occupied far more square footage on the official Capitol grounds than any other personage or movement.

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2015 Road Trip Photos #42: Walking, Not Marching, to the Alabama State Capitol

Lister Hill!

Lister Hill was a WWI veteran and a 45-year Congressman whose works favored medical progress and expanding modern amenities into rural areas, but didn’t exactly have a favorable civil rights record.

Anne and I decided to structure the morning of Day Six pretty much the same as we had the morning of Day Two. Whereas the latter was spent walking around downtown Birmingham, this time we’d try doing the same with the state capital of Montgomery. One major Alabama city kind of looked like the other on our maps, so we expected a simple, breezy morning of walking from the hotel to the Alabama State Capitol.

We erred in failing to account for scale and structure. If only we’d known that Montgomery’s city blocks are five times as large as Birmingham’s, and if only we’d known Montgomery somehow abolished all forms of cool, relaxing shade from within city limits, we might’ve taken a different exploratory approach. Say, driving around the city instead of walking its miles and nearly killing ourselves. Advantage: Birmingham.

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