The Burt- Stark Mansion in Abbeville is a popular place for weddings and other occasions where participants wish to explore one interpretation of the Old South.
This parlor is where Jefferson Davis decided he must end the war on May 2, 1865. After listening to his council, he reportedly declared “All is indeed lost.”
Backstory and Context
Part of this omission is likely due to the fact that his historic site, like many other antebellum mansions, derives much of its revenue from hosting joyous events such as weddings. As a result, the mansion tour focuses primarily upon the historic features of the home, its lavish gardens, antique furnishings, and its role as the final meeting place of Confederate military and political leaders.
The home was built in 1830 for local planter and attorney David Lesley. One of Lesley's slaves, a man known at the time as "Cubic," was instrumental in designing the home and overseeing its construction based on other homes Cubic and Lesley had seen. Although it is not known how many slaves Amistead Burt owned, records indicate that the value of his estate had fallen from $70,000 in 1860 to only $2,000 in 1870. Devastated by the changes wrought by the Civil War, he sold the estate in 1872.