An Unconventional Belle: Octavia Walton LeVert

Document Type


Publication Title

Alabama Heritage


Historic Oakleigh House in Mobile, Alabama, a historic home open for tours, is full of relics of the city’s history. The well-cared-for items fill the walls, rest on tables, or are carefully stored for special occasions. The Minnie Mitchell Archives, which is on the Oakleigh House property, was created to maintain the Historic Mobile Preservation Society’s documents and those of Mobile. On Oakleigh’s second floor, in the expansive parlor, visitors are drawn to one of the largest paintings in the room. It is of a striking young woman in a pink dress, her hand resting on a Spanish guitar. The artist is Thomas Sully, who also painted famous Americans such as Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. The subject of the portrait is a young Octavia Walton, and it is not surprising a famous painter put her likeness to canvas, for she was a prominent figure during her lifetime. It was clear, even as a young lady, that she was destined for greater things.

First Page


Last Page


Publication Date

Spring 2021


University Libraries