One Man Play-Jefferson Davis


A one-man play in two acts, "Echoes Of The Phoenix," covering Jefferson Davis’ imprisonment and his last days at Beauvoir is scheduled for its world premiere in March, 2008 at Elk City, Oklahoma’s Red Carpet Theatre.

Written, produced, directed and performed by Jerry C. Brewer, the play is the non-politically correct vindication of the cause for which Davis gave his all and for which he suffered. The author is a veteran of stage productions, film and television. He is also the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp Commander of the Privates Grayson & Brewer Camp, No. 2118 in Elk City, Okla.

In the play’s preface, Brewer says, "…

[Davis] was appointed Provisional President of the newly-formed Confederate States of America in March, 1861 and elected to a full term in 1862. He served in that capacity throughout the War of Northern Aggression and was captured near Irwinsville, Georgia in May, 1865 after Lee’s surrender a month earlier. He spent two years imprisoned at Fort Monroe, Virginia without a trial or a writ of habeus corpus. He was finally released on $100,000.00 bond May 13, 1867, but was never tried on the charge of treason,—for which was he was thrice indicted—because United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase feared a trial would vindicate the cause of States’ Rights. Jefferson Davis never apologized for the course the Confederacy pursued, nor did he ask for a pardon before his death on December 6, 1889 in New Orleans.

"The title of this play comes from Egyptian mythology. Described by Herodotus as, "golden-winged with eagle-like red body," the Phoenix was a legendary bird "which was supposed to live for 500-600 years in the Arabian Desert, and then consume itself by fire, rising from the ashes young and beautiful to live through another cycle as a symbol of immortality" (Britannica World Language Dictionary). And though it has lain in the ashes of Lincoln’s war since 1865, the great Phoenix of liberty does not remain silent. Its clarion voice is Jefferson Davis’ great work.

"The Southern cause he championed was first enunciated—and ratified among the 13 British Colonies of North America—by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia who wrote, "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it." The military might of Britain was unable to destroy that cause and had the Colonies suffered military defeat at the hands of George III that cause would still be undefeated. You see, principles and philosophies are not subject to abolition by armed might. The burning desire for liberty in the militarily conquered peoples of Eastern Europe in the former Soviet Union was never extinguished by their dictators. Though it lay dormant for more than 70 years after the Russian Revolution of 1917, it reasserted itself, resulting in the fall of the Berlin Wall.

"Of the War Between The States, Southerners are derisively told to "get over it." We are over it. The South was militarily defeated and its states forced back into the union at bayonet point. But the cause for which Southern men bled and died was never defeated—and never shall be. It will rise and reassert itself at another time and, perhaps, in another place.

"From British Colonial days, my ancestors have been Southerners. From North Carolina to Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma, we have overspread the great Southland. We sprang from the same stock as those who wrote our Declaration of Independence when we seceded from Britain, who framed our Constitution of 1787, and who seceded from the union in 1861 while invoking the principles set forth in our founding documents. I was born in the South and grew up revering the memories of larger-than-life heroes such as Generals Robert Edward Lee, Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson, and President Jefferson Davis. I am unreconstructed and unapologetic for the service of my two paternal great grandfathers, Private Peyton G. Brewer, Co. F, 42nd Alabama Infantry and Private George H. Armstrong, Co. F, Locke’s Regiment, 10th Texas Cavalry, my great great uncle Alvah R. Brewer, Co F, 43rd Mississippi Infantry, and my maternal ancestors, Privates David Bowen and J. L. Bowen, Co. K (Big Sandy Rangers), 8th Virginia Cavalry.

"I send forth this true account of the last years of Jefferson Davis and the vindication of the Southern cause without apology. If one is seeking a politically correct version of Davis and the South, he will not find it in this work. I abominate and abhor the "political correctness" which would eradicate our Southern culture—a culture that is irrevocably bound to the great political truths for which our sires fought, suffered, bled, and died. I have set forth the truth of our cause, and have done so unashamedly."

“Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and for a new one that suits them better."