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A Southern Black History Month Moment
Huntington News ^ | January 31, 2012 | Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

Posted on 01/31/2012 6:27:36 PM PST by BigReb555

The Christmas of 1864, would be memorable for the Davis family and probably the best Christmas Jim Limber would ever have.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: africanamerican; confederate; history
The following story should be included during Black History Month.

A magazine article in 1989 caught my eye 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 Robbins and is entitled, "Jim Limber Davis."

This is my summary of Mrs. Robbin's wonderful 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.

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 an indication of his acceptance as they were written that 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 to help 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.

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.

1 posted on 01/31/2012 6:27:39 PM PST by BigReb555
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To: BigReb555

Thank you.

At a half-century plus I am still learning...and have much still to learn.

2 posted on 01/31/2012 6:40:47 PM PST by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini--nevertheless, Vote Santorum!)
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To: lightman

“At a half-century plus I am still learning...and have much still to learn.”

I’m 72, and still get surprised by this very thread which we just read. I once had a biography which I loaned to someone and never got back; the post Civil War life of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. He is “accused” of founding the KKK. He actually did start an oranization which eventually was taken over by others and morphed INTO what became the KKK. By that time he is said to have been out of and distanced from it.

Gen. Forrest is reported to have stopped his horse by the roadside one dark night to rescue an abandoned, weeping infant, which he took home and turned over to servants in his poorly lit home. The next morning when he checked on the child he was startled to see that it was black. He kept the child, loved it and reared it as his own.

The story goes on to tell that Forrest later repented of his racism, turned his life over to Christ, and even did some preaching of the Gospel occasionally.

I’ll have to make a serious effort to locate another copy of that book. Thanks.

3 posted on 01/31/2012 7:00:48 PM PST by Tucker39
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To: Tucker39

Please post the title when you do.

4 posted on 01/31/2012 7:34:10 PM PST by Clock King (Ellisworth Toohey was right: My head's gonna explode.)
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To: BigReb555

I wish ALL African Americans would read, and white Americans too for that matter, a book called;
“Setting the record straight: American history in Black & White” by David Barton.

Most Black Americans today know NOTHING about Black History earlier than MLK. If they did, none of them would be Democrats, Ever.
The Democrats were clearly the pro-slavery party in the 1800s, and following the Civil War the Democrats fought against giving black Americans any Civil Rights and did everything to prevent blacks from being a part of the political process which is why they formed the KKK to intimidate blacks and whites from voting for pro-civil rights Republicans. And for over 100 years Democrats in congress voted time and time and time again Against any civil rights legislation proposed by Republicans.
Democrats today still have Blacks in a form of slavery, by twisting their knowledge of history by erasing history older than MLK and Malcom X. And their new Slave Master is keeping’s them in “Want”, and the Government being the provider.

Did you know?
The First Blacks In Congress Were All Republicans

United States Senate
Hiram Rhodes Revels (1822-1901); Republican – Mississippi; 1870-1871
Blanche Bruce (1841-1898); Republican – Mississippi; 1875-1881

House of Representatives
John Willis Menard (1838-1893); Republican - Louisiana; 1868
Joseph Rainey (1832-1887); Republican - South Carolina; 1870-1879
Jefferson F. Long (1836-1901); Republican – Georgia; 1870-1871
Robert C. De Large (1842-1874); Republican - South Carolina; 1871-1873
Robert B. Elliott (1842-1884); Republican - South Carolina; 1871-1874
Benjamin S. Turner (1825-1894); Republican – Alabama; 1871-1873
Josiah T. Walls (1842-1905); Republican – Florida; 1871-1873, 1873-1875, 1875-1876
Richard H. Cain (1825-1887); Republican - South Carolina; 1873-1875, 1877-1879
John R. Lynch (1847-1939); Republican – Mississippi; 1873-1877, 1882-1883
James T. Rapier (1837-1883); Republican – Alabama; 1873-1875
Alonzo J. Ransier (1834-1882); Republican - South Carolina; 1873-1875
Jeremiah Haralson (1846-1916); Republican - Alabama; 1875-1877
John Adams Hyman (1840-1891); Republican - North Carolina; 1875-1877
Charles E. Nash (1844-1913); Republican – Louisiana; 1875-1877
Robert Smalls (1839-1915); Republican - South Carolina; 1875-1879, 1882-1883, 1884-1887
James E. O’Hara (1844-1905); Republican - North Carolina; 1883-1887
Henry P. Cheatham (1857-1935); Republican - North Carolina; 1889-1893
John Mercer Langston (1829-1897); Republican – Virginia; 1890-1891
Thomas E. Miller(1849-193); Republican - South Carolina; 1890-1891
George W. Murray (1853-1926); Republican - South Carolina; 1893-1895, 1896-1897
George Henry White (1852-1918); Republican - North Carolina; 1897-1901
The Democrats did not elect their first black American to the U.S. House until 1935, and he was from the North. The Southern Democrats waited until 1973. The first Black Senator was not elected until 1993.

5 posted on 01/31/2012 7:48:08 PM PST by NavyCanDo
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To: BigReb555

During the Garfield vs. Hancock election a handbill was passed out as a reminder of who the Democrats were. It would be considered inflammatory language today, but if you were at age to still remember the Civil War and was handed this handbill, it was very profound and true.

Why I will not Vote for the Democratic Ticket

I am opposed to the Democratic Party, and I will tell you why.
Every State that seceded from the United States was a Democratic State.
Every man that shot Union soldiers was a Democrat.
Every man that loves slavery better than Liberty was a Democrat.
The man that assassinated Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat.
Every man that sympathized with the assassin – every man glad that the noblest President ever elected was assassinated – was a Democrat’
Every man that wept over the corps of [end of] slavery was a Democrat.
Every man that cursed Lincoln because he issued the Proclamation of Emancipation – the grandest paper since the Declaration of Independence – every one of them was a Democrat.
Soldiers! Every scar you have got on your heroic bodies was given you by a Democrat. Every scar, every arm that is lacking, every limb that is gone, every scar is a souvenir of a Democrat.
The handbill then contrasted Republican and Democrats:
The Republicans have done some noble things – things that will be remembered as long as there is history. But there are some things they did not do.
They did not use an army to force slavery into Kansas…
They did not oppose emancipation/
They were not “Ku-Klux”
They did not scourge, and hang, and shoot, and murder men for opinions sake.
They did not organize the Louisiana white league or the South Carolina rifle clubs

They did not drench the South with the blood of inoffensive colored men…

6 posted on 01/31/2012 7:51:03 PM PST by NavyCanDo
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In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes.
LINK An Analysis of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Legislated Response to Racial Discrimination in the U. S.

7 posted on 01/31/2012 8:13:37 PM PST by anglian
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To: BigReb555
There is no reason to believe that any of the Davis family believed that a black child was a member of their family.

The Davis letters to friends are an indication of his acceptance as they were written that he was a member of their gang of children.

While I'm sure the Davis family was compassionate, there is no way that they would consider a black child as a member of their family. The Davis family was for slavery.

8 posted on 01/31/2012 11:04:37 PM PST by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: NavyCanDo

You have one error there. The first popularly elected black US senator was the liberal Republican Ed Brooke of Massachusetts, who succeeded the retiring Leverett Saltonstall by winning in 1966. Brooke won reelection in 1972 but lost to Democrat Paul Tsongas in 1978.

9 posted on 01/31/2012 11:11:20 PM PST by eater-of-toast ("It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones." --Calvin Coolidge)
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To: VanShuyten

Thanks for crapping on an otherwise cool thread Einstein.

10 posted on 02/01/2012 6:13:26 AM PST by ohioman
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To: Clock King

There is a man in our church who has a nice shop in Mechanicsburg, PA which has all kinds of books, collectibles, etc. pertaining to The Civil War. I’ll see if he can get a lead on that book. Please ping me back privately to this so I have your email address on FR.

11 posted on 02/01/2012 8:17:20 AM PST by Tucker39
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To: BigReb555

Let me know when they create a Caucasian History Month.

12 posted on 02/04/2012 8:22:56 PM PST by Veggie Todd (I don't mind you hitting me, Frank, but take it easy on the Bacardi.)
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