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Sarah KnoX Taylor Davis
1st Wife of Jefferson Davis
Daughter of Zachary Taylor

Born March 6, 1814
Vincennes, Indiana
Died September 15, 1835
Locust Grove Plantation
West Feliciana Parish
Cause Malaria
Age 21
 
Spouse Jefferson Davis
June 17, 1835
Louisville, KY
Children None
 
Plantation Brierfield
Mississippi
Religion  
Burial Locust Grove Cemetery

Sarah Knox Taylor Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, is buried in Locust Grove Historical Cemetery in West Feliciana Parish. 

Sadly, after less than three months of marriage, Jefferson and Sarah were visiting Jefferson's sister at Locust Grove plantation when both contracted malaria.  Jefferson Davis survived but Sarah died at the age of 21 and is buried on the plantation where she died.

Sarah, remarkably, is the daughter of General Zachary Taylor, the future 12th President of the United States. And she is the wife of the future President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis.

Other notable relatives are her brother Confederate Gen. Richard Taylor, brother-in-law Col. William Wallace Bliss, both initially buried in New Orleans. Her uncle, Union General Joseph Pannell Taylor, is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D. C.

The only known letter from Jefferson Davis to his love Sarah Taylor was written from Fort Gibson in the Arkansas Territory only 9 months before Sarah's death.

Jefferson Davis was Zachary Taylor's second in command at Fort Crawford in Prairie duChien, Wisconsin.  Zachary Taylor was not happy with the romance of his daughter by Jefferson Davis, since he was concerned that his daughter would spend a lifetime in harsh military frontier posts.  Jefferson Davis, not to be denied, resigned his commission so that he and Sarah could marry on June 17, 1835 in Louisville, KY.  Less than 3 months later she died at Locust Grove Plantation of malaria.

In 1916, Jefferson Davis' sister defends this love and marriage in a news article.

Locust Grove Cemetery

Locust Grove is a tiny cemetery with 27 remaining graves, part of Locust Grove
Plantation owned by the family of Jefferson Davis' sister Mrs. Anna E. Davis Smith.

Dr. Benjamin Davis, brother of Jefferson Davis is buried here.  He was married to
Aurelia Smith.  They had daughter Mary Ann Davis.  Father and daughter have
existing graves.

Pictures and transcriptions of all graves in Locust Grove Cemetery are on
another page
.

 .

Sarah Knox Taylor Davis

The original grave was made of brick.  Sometime after 1920 the grave was
covered with stone and the engraving added.  This came about after an attempt
by the United Confederate Veterans to removed her remains to a spot beside her
husband in Richmond, Virginia.  The new stone covering was the result of a
compromise with  those that did not want her remains disturbed. 

The article Reinterment Attempt - 1920 describes the opinions on the desired
reinterment.

Sarah Knox Davis
Wife of
Jefferson Davis
Died
15th Sep. 1835.
Aged 21 Years

 

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