Thursday, May 19, 2011

Did You Know (or Care): A bit more about the South

c/o Beauvoir
Kevin Levin of Civil War Memory is an example of one who scorns the individual who is perceived to cling to an unsubstantiated illusion that legitimizes certain perspectives which may not fit well within the box of the more easily accepted mainstream.  Indeed he has rejected the following story as a neo-Confederate fantasy solely intended to challenge the public image of Southerners' universal disdain for those of African descent.  So for those who think that we blindly hate everyone, here's an interesting piece I recently caught from --

"Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his wife Varina fostered a slave child during the war.  On February 16, 1864, the Southern diarist Mary Boykin Chesnut wrote in her journal that, while visiting the Confederate executive mansion in Richmond, she saw a 'little negro Mrs. Davis rescued yesterday from his brutal negro guardian.  The child is an orphan.  He was dressed up in Little Joe's [one of the Davises' sons'] clothes and happy as a lord.'  The mulatto boy's name was Jim Limber, and he and young Billy Davis became friends.

"In her memoirs, Varina Davis said her husband 'went to the Mayor's office and had [Jim's] free papers registered to insure Jim against getting into the power of the oppressor again.'  When federal forces caught the fleeing Davises in May 1865, they gave the boy to an old family friend, Union General Rufus Saxton.  'He quietly went,' Varina Davis wrote, 'but as soon as he found he was going to leave us he fought like a little tiger and was thus engaged the last we saw of him.'"

Original source: The Seven-Day Scholar: The Civil War by Dennis Gaffney and Peter Gaffney

No comments: