Let’s Talk About…Duff Green & His Mansion

Duff Green, 1791-1875, was an American teacher, military leader, Democratic party politician, journalist, author, diplomat and industrialist…….. and he lived in Vicksburg. He made a good part of his fortune as a cotton broker. He was sympathetic to the Confederate cause but was a realist…………

I quite love to learn the story-behind-the-story, especially in American history, and the story of Duff Green’s mansion is one such story.  The above photos show it as it is today and was during the Civil War.  

Duff Green built his mansion in 1856 high on a bluff using skilled enslaved labor and bricks that were fired onsite. The grand home survived the Siege of Vicksburg because Green designated it a “hospital” where both Confederate and Union soldiers were treated. 

Our tour guide in this mansion was the current owner and her love of this old house was evident. This red-walled photo was of the dining room where dinner was a 6-13 course affair with “libations” served with each course. After dinner there would be a ball with very strict man-woman protocol. “Ladies might wear out their slippers dancing,” she said.  And there is old Duff Green himself; he sired six children with two wives. 

What I’d ask you to imagine here, as I did while there, is this:  It’s summer and temps are nearing 100o. You’re dressed in this huge tight-busted-many-petticoats-and-skirts outfit going to dinner at the Green mansion. The windows are open (it’s HOT) and so there are bugs flying everywhere. The “necessary” (outhouse) was way out back of the house….and here you are in your voluminous garb. You must sit and smile for hours as your fellow guests chew their way through up to 13 courses with different “libations” served with each. And then you’ll dance for hours in that HOT room. No wonder they each wore gloves…… my hands would have been plenty sweaty. 

Now doesn’t that just sound fun??????