|This might be a picture of Traveler.|
If not, it probably at least looks sort of like him.
Mr. Davis was born in Kentucky in 1808. He went to West Point and then fought in the Mexican-American War. He got elected a Democratic Senator from Mississippi, and after that, he served as the U.S. Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce. When he finished being in the Pierce administration, Mr. Davis went back to being a senator from Mississippi. He thought that the South should not leave the Union, but he did believe that states had the right to do that if they chose to.
After the War, Mr. Davis went to a place called Beauvoir to do some writing. Beauvoir was a home that was located near the coast, in Biloxi, Mississippi. It was owned by a friend of the Davises, Mrs. Sarah Anne Ellis Dorsey. She had named her home "Beauvoir," which is French for "beautiful view." Mr. Davis liked the house so much that he bought it from Mrs. Dorsey.
|Mrs. Sarah Dorsey|
Anyway, the Dorseys trained their puppy, Traveler, to be a bodyguard for Mrs. Dorsey. One time when they were on a camping trip in the Arabian desert, Mr. Dorsey found out that one of his Arabian servants was stealing from him. So he had the man punished. After that, Mr. Dorsey went on a 2-day trip, and he left Mrs. Dorsey with an old Arab sheik to take care of her, and Traveler was there to guard her. In the middle of the night, Mrs. Dorsey woke up when she heard a man scream. It turned out that the thief who had been punished came back with a big knife to get his revenge by attacking Mrs. Dorsey. But Traveler heard him and pinned him down.
Another time, when the Dorseys were in Paris, Mrs. Dorsey wore a bunch of expensive diamond jewelry to a party. After the Dorseys got back to their hotel, Mr. Dorsey went out to smoke with some friends, and Mrs. Dorsey went to bed and fell asleep. She woke up when she heard the sounds of a fight. A thief had followed her back to the hotel to try to steal the expensive jewelry. Traveler attacked him and bit him in the throat. This man was one of the worst criminals in Paris. He was sentenced to be hanged, but before that could happen, he died from his throat wound.
Even though Traveler could be fierce as a guard dog, he was very gentle with children. He let them pull his hair, pound on him, and ride him like a pony. He especially liked to play with Mrs. Davis's little niece.
Another thing that Traveler liked to do was chase fiddler crabs on the beach. Whenever he managed to herd a bunch of them into the sea, he would bark and kick up sand to show how happy he was. But if he was walking with Mr. Davis on the beach, he acted like a very serious body guard and did not chase the crabs. He knew it was his job to keep his master safe, and if Mr. Davis got lost in thought and walked too close to the water, Traveler would steer him back up the beach a ways.
|Jefferson Davis in 1885|
Traveler was buried in a wooden coffin in the front yard of Beauvoir. A stone was put on the grave to mark it, but later the stone disappeared. Mr. Davis died in 1889. For a number of years, members of the Davis family lived at Beauvoir, but finally it was turned into a presidential library. During Hurricane Katrina, the house was badly damaged, but it has now been repaired and is open again.
I asked Mom if we could go to Mississippi to the beach so that I could chase the crabs. Mom said that might be fun to do sometime, and I said "How about next week?" Mom said she didn't think we could go that soon. So who knows when we'll get there, if we ever do.