Meet President Lincoln and President Davis at Westport Historical Society gala

Wedding photo of Jefferson Davis with his second wife, Varina Howell Davis, 1845. Photo used courtesy Wikipedia Commons, licensing agreement,

Here’s your chance to sit down and talk with President Lincoln. No, Daniel Day-Lewis won’t be in town, but perhaps it’s the next best thing.

The Westport Historical Society is hosting a unique event as part of its celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

At its “Presidential Gala” this Saturday, President Abraham Lincoln (portrayed by Tom Leahy) and Confederate President Jefferson Davis (portrayed by Richard Heaviland) will be in separate rooms at the Harris-Kearney House Museum, available for conversation.

Upstairs, their wives Mary Todd Lincoln (portrayed by Donna Powers) and Varina Howell Davis (portrayed by Jennifer McKeithen), will be serving tea and offering a female perspective on the Civil War period.

This event includes both presidents because the Westport Historical Society tries to present as many views of history as possible, according to Executive Director Jennifer McKeithen. “There are so many aspects to the Civil War, and we want people to learn as much as possible.” She says the North and the South had different perspectives, as did men and women during the time.

McKeithen will portray Varina Howell Davis. She’s been researching her character and coming to admire her as a woman of her time. “She was very well read, well educated and a good conversationalist.”

The Presidential Gala is just one event in the Westport Historical Society’s ongoing commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The Gala is co-sponsored by Park University’s history honor society chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, Zeta Omircon.


  • Saturday, February 16, 2013 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Harris-Kearney House Museum, 4000 Baltimore. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children (12 and under) and tickets will be available at the door.
  • Westport Historical Society 

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