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A Forgotten Story for Black History Month
Canda Free Press ^ | February 12, 2010 | Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

Posted on 02/12/2010 3:29:26 PM PST by BigReb555

While Black History Month mostly focuses on black adults in history, this story is about a black child.

(Excerpt) Read more at canadafreepress.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: blackhistory; blackhistorymonth; confederate; dixie
In 1989, a magazine article caught my eye which I had to read from beginning to end. This was not an ordinary story but about a black child, a Confederate President's First Lady and the Southern Presidential Family. The story was written by Gulfport, Mississippi freelance writer Mrs. Peggy Robbin's and is entitled, "Jim Limber Davis."

While Black History Month mostly focuses on black adults in history, this story is about a black child. This is a summary, in my own words, of Mrs. Robbin's splendid story.

On the morning of February 15, 1864, Mrs. Varina Davis, wife of Southern President Jefferson Davis, had concluded her errands and was driving her carriage down the streets of Richmond, Virginia on her way home. She heard screams from a distance and quickly went to the scene to see what was happening.

Varina saw a young black child being abused by an older man. She demanded that he stop striking the child and when this failed she shocked the man by forcibly taking the child away. She took the child to her carriage and with her to the Confederate White House.

Arriving home Mrs. Davis and maid 'Ellen' gave the young boy a bath, attended to his cuts and bruises and feed him. The only thing he would tell them is that his name was Jim Limber. He was happy to be rescued and was given some clothes of the Davis' son Joe who was the same size and age.

Joe was tragically killed in an accidental fall later that year.

The Davis family were visited the following evening by a friend of Varina's, noted Southern Diarist-Mary Boykin Chesnut, who saw Jim Limber and wrote later that she had seen the boy and that he was eager to show me his cuts and bruises. She also said, "the child is an orphan rescued yesterday from a brutal Negro Guardian." and "there are things in life that are too sickening, and such cruelty is one of them."

There were some children who addressed Jim as Jim Limber Davis for fun. This was fine with him because he felt he was indeed a member of the family. The Davis letters to friends are indication of his acceptance and they said he was a member of their gang of children.

The Christmas of 1864, would be memorable for the Davis family and probably the best Christmas Jim Limber would ever have. A Christmas tree was set up in Saint Paul's Church, decorated and gifts placed beneath it. On Christmas evening orphans were brought to the church and were delighted with the presents they got. Jim was happy that he helped decorate the tree.

Mrs. Robbin's wrote, in her story, that Mrs. Jefferson Davis was a very good story teller who was able to make sounds of different animals in the stories about the critters. Jim was always eager to help.

The end of the War Between the States was coming and Richmond was being evacuated. Varina and the children left ahead of Jefferson Davis. The president and his staff left just hours before the occupation of Union troops.

Varina and the children were by the side of Jefferson Davis at his capture near Irwinville, Georgia and again the family was separated. Jefferson Davis was taken to Virginia to spend two years in prison.

Mrs. Davis and her children were taken to Macon, Georgia and later to Port Royal outside of Savannah. At Port Royal their Union escort, Captain Charles T. Hudson, made good at his earlier threats to take Jim Limber away. As the Union soldiers came to forcibly take young Jim, he put up a great struggle and tried to hold onto his family as they to him. Jim and his family cried uncontrollably as the child was taken. His family would never again see him or know what happened to him. The Davis' tried in later years to locate Jim but were unsuccessful. They prayed that he grew to manhood and did well in life.

The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia is home to a portrait of Jim Limber Davis in the Eleanor S. Brookenbrough Library. I thank Mrs. Peggy Robbin's who wrote the Jim Limber Davis story in 1989 and the Southern Partisan Magazine for publishing her story in the second quarter Issue-Volume IX of 1989.

For more information about Jefferson Davis go to: www.beauvoir.org, the website about the last home of Jefferson Davis where the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library is also located.

1 posted on 02/12/2010 3:29:26 PM PST by BigReb555
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To: BigReb555

Great post! This kind of stuff happened all the time. There were abuses, but you can’t go around whipping people all day and expect any work to get done. (Maybe one day, American women will realize that.) But by and large, the slaves were not mistreated. But nobody wants to be a slave. Well, outside of San Francisco, at least.

parsy, who is single, and free!


2 posted on 02/12/2010 3:36:05 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: BigReb555

Wow what a story. This should make people think twice before they demonize the confederates.


3 posted on 02/12/2010 3:37:54 PM PST by Soothesayer (The United States of America Rest in Peace November 4 2008)
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To: parsifal

Good analysis.

People are ugly , whether there is slavery or not. Slavery is not to be tolerated.
Go back 2000 years and there is hate and violence and cruelty...Not much has changed. there are decent people and thugs...some societies , poltical groups and cultures celebrate that thuggery, and others, like the US abhor it.


4 posted on 02/12/2010 3:40:45 PM PST by Recovering Ex-hippie (Ok, joke's over....Bring back Bush !)
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To: parsifal

****you can’t go around whipping people all day and expect any work to get done***

Especially when you are outnumbered.

Slavery and indentured servitude were uncivil abominations and rightfully abolished. But the conventional wisdom that starvation and abuse were universal practices makes no sense. Healthy, well fed labor is more loyal and productive.


5 posted on 02/12/2010 3:49:26 PM PST by sodpoodle (Despair - Man's surrender. Laughter - God's redemption.)
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To: parsifal
By and large slaves were not mistreated?

What part of being denied any control over your own movements, decisions, family, destiny, freedom does not constitute mistreatment to you? Unbelievable.

6 posted on 02/12/2010 3:56:08 PM PST by wtc911 ("How you gonna get down that hill?")
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To: wtc911
Wow what a story. This should make people think twice before they demonize the confederates.

We rightly complain about governmental intrusions into our private affairs, but even the heavy hand of the modern governmental leviathan is light as a feather compared to the weight of the slavery system.

7 posted on 02/12/2010 4:06:32 PM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: parsifal

the word slave indicates mistreatment. Simply enslaving someone is mistreatment...and worse.

I would agree with the statement that not all slave owners were evil people, many of them didn’t know any differently. But slavery is mistreatment.


8 posted on 02/12/2010 4:07:30 PM PST by mockingbyrd (Sarah speaks for me!)
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To: Soothesayer

Southerners of the day were not monsters. But the system was monstrous and demoralizing.


9 posted on 02/12/2010 4:08:56 PM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: BigReb555

Now, which day of Black History Month is “Republicans freed the slaves day”?


10 posted on 02/12/2010 4:12:35 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Deathcare...a solution desperately looking for a problem.)
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To: wtc911

Physically mistreated. I remember reading one narrative from a nine year old slave boy who said he cried himself to sleep every night. Not because anybody was mean to him, but he just wasn’t free. That being said, some slaves and their owners all had hard killing work to do just to stay alive.

BTW: By the time of the War of Northern Aggression, many slaves were already operating on a share cropping basis with their owners.

parsy, who hopes that clears it up


11 posted on 02/12/2010 5:24:36 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: mockingbyrd

Most of them simply didn’t see it as morally wrong. It was just the way the things were. A few decades ago, many Americans got chicken dinner by going out in the yard, grabbing a chicken, and wringing its neck. Now, most of us would think it kinda tasteful. So we get our chicken from the grocery store. But, if you grew up with it, it was just the way things were.

parsy, who spent some time in the Deep South in the early 60’s FWIW


12 posted on 02/12/2010 5:28:28 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: mockingbyrd

Most of them simply didn’t see it as morally wrong. It was just the way the things were. A few decades ago, many Americans got chicken dinner by going out in the yard, grabbing a chicken, and wringing its neck. Now, most of us would think it kinda tasteful. So we get our chicken from the grocery store. But, if you grew up with it, it was just the way things were.

parsy, who spent some time in the Deep South in the early 60’s FWIW


13 posted on 02/12/2010 5:28:29 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Agreed


14 posted on 02/12/2010 8:09:16 PM PST by Soothesayer (The United States of America Rest in Peace November 4 2008)
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To: parsifal

Clears it up? Nope. Your position requires the belief that slavery in itself is not mistreatment and can, in some cases, be benign. That is the trouble. If you actually believe that slavery of any kind is less than evil then we will never find common ground on this.


15 posted on 02/13/2010 5:50:17 AM PST by wtc911 ("How you gonna get down that hill?")
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Their weight may be different but chains they remain.


16 posted on 02/13/2010 5:55:12 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

And where is a tribute to all the white people in the U.S. who 1) made them free, and 2) allowed them to become equal participates in the society established as a wholly run white establishment? Not saying it was easy for blacks, just saying that they could not have forced themselves into the citizenry if whites, as a group, were determined to not lot it happen.

I think race relations in this country would improve 100 percent if the black population would acknowledge that and thank us for making it possible.


17 posted on 02/13/2010 6:05:40 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: wtc911

So, was like Thomas Jefferson “evil”? Or was he just doing what everybody around him was doing? I think people can do “wrong” sometimes out of inertia.

Slavery was a fact of life for thousands of years and still is in some places. It is wrong. It is a bad thing. Are the practitioners thereof, necessarily “evil”?

parsy, who thinks this is a deeper question


18 posted on 02/13/2010 1:48:58 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: parsifal
"Slavery is a bad thing"

_____________________________________

That's the best you can do toward acknowledging that there is nothing but evil in it?

19 posted on 02/13/2010 1:52:49 PM PST by wtc911 ("How you gonna get down that hill?")
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To: Lee'sGhost
they could not have forced themselves into the citizenry if whites Republicans, as a group, were determined to not lot it happen.

I think race relations in this country would improve 100 percent if the black population would acknowledge that and thank us Republicans for making it possible.

I'll take "Who were the abolitionists" for $100.

20 posted on 02/13/2010 4:35:40 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Deathcare...a solution desperately looking for a problem.)
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To: parsifal
So, was like Thomas Jefferson “evil”?

Wasn't he that rapist slave owner who is the figurehead of the democratzich party?

21 posted on 02/13/2010 4:40:04 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Deathcare...a solution desperately looking for a problem.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

Whatever... but there were no black Republicans associated with the events I mentioned. Keep that in mind.


22 posted on 02/13/2010 4:47:01 PM PST by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: wtc911

Call it what you will, as a practice, you didn’t answer my question. Was Jefferson “evil”?

parsy, who is not easily distracted


23 posted on 02/13/2010 5:32:56 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

No. I think that was Andrew Jackson.

parsy, who may be wrong


24 posted on 02/13/2010 5:34:02 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: Lee'sGhost
Whatever... but there were no black Republicans associated with the events I mentioned. Keep that in mind

Well, Fredrick Douglass was there, and Mary McLeod Bethune, and Booker T. Washington. The rest came along shortly after, while they still had their heads screwed on straight and well up into the 20th century.

Republicans of whatever color established the United Negro College Fund and the NAACP.

25 posted on 02/13/2010 6:09:56 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Deathcare...a solution desperately looking for a problem.)
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To: parsifal

Well, Jackson may well have been another rapist slave-owner, probably why the RATs like him...but I was refering the the Jefferson/Hemmings deal.


26 posted on 02/13/2010 6:15:42 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Deathcare...a solution desperately looking for a problem.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

I think they were in love. I think they even had kids together.

parsy, who is a democrat now


27 posted on 02/13/2010 6:17:57 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: parsifal

Good men can do evil acts. Jefferson’s ownership of slaves was evil.


28 posted on 02/14/2010 6:18:07 AM PST by wtc911 ("How you gonna get down that hill?")
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

Uh...yeah. I think were are talking about two different things.


29 posted on 02/14/2010 6:30:08 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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