Monday, October 30, 2006

Houston History Mystery V: The case of the missing portrait

It’s Halloween, which gives me a good excuse to post this photoshopped picture I took of the old Jefferson Davis Hospital years ago.

Speaking of JDH, here’s another Houston History Mystery that needs solving.

On Dec. 2, 1924, members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy met with hospital, city and county officials to officially open the hospital.

It’s no coincidence that local leaders scheduled the hospital’s dedication ceremony at the same time UDC members were meeting in Houston.

The high point of the ceremony was the unveiling of a portrait of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The UDC presented the portrait to hospital officials.

Judge Sam Streetman, president of the local hospital board, hoped the portrait would “stand as a constant reminder of the highest conception of honor and duty as expressed in the life of Jefferson Davis.”

A bronze tablet commemorating the Confederate veterans was to have been presented at the ceremony, too, but it was not ready.

Obviously, the tablet and the portrait were removed at some point. No one seems to know where the items are located. I seem to remember contacting the UDC about it years ago, but no one knew anything about it. With the current inclination to remove all things related to the Confederacy, it’s easy to believe that both the painting and tablet have been lost for good.



At 9:45 AM, Blogger TX Runner Girl said...

Very interesting - I see a family name mentioned!

At 7:30 PM, Blogger J.R.G. said...

Hmm...either Streetman or Davis. I think you'd know if you were related to Jefferson Davis! I'm not aware of too many Streetmans in Houston. Perhaps there might be some connection!

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous burzvana said...

The UDC and SCV are still actively searching for these artifacts that were at the old Jefferson Davis Hospital. If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of the portrait or the bronze tablet, please contact me at or visit the website below.

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous burzvana said...

I am looking for a Houston artifact that dates back to 1927. It is a large bronze plaque that used to hang on the outside of the old Jefferson Davis Hospital building on Elder Street in downtown Houston. It was placed there in 1927 by the Sons of Confederate Veterans to honor the confederate soldiers that are buried in the old City Cemetery which is where the hospital building now sits. We do not know when the marker was removed from the building but we would like to locate it and have it returned.

The building was declared a Historic Landmark by the City of Houston back in 2002. It has now been designated as a Registered Historic Landmark by the State of Texas and the Texas Historical Commission. A marker dedication ceremony has been scheduled for January 2009.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of this marker, please contact me.

If the marker is returned safely there will be no questions asked. We just want the marker back.


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