Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House

Jim Limber was rescued from an abusive guardian by First Lady Varina Davis when he was only five years old. Jefferson and Varina Davis then became his legal guardians and Jim lived with them in the Confederate White House, enjoying life as a member of their family.

When Union soldiers invaded Richmond, Virginia, and captured Jefferson Davis, they also kidnapped Jim Limber. Soon after his capture, cruel rumors spread that Jim was Jefferson Davis’s slave. After the Civil War, Jefferson Davis tried to locate Jim, but he was never found.

This true story shows how Jim Limber was accepted as one of the Davis’s own children and reveals their love for him. Although Jim’s whereabouts after the war still remain a mystery, the story offers an example of compassion during this complex time in our nation’s history.

*An Accelerated Reader Program Selection and winner of the 2008 Louisiana Young Reader’s Choice Award! A free jpeg photo of the real Jim Limber can be obtained from the author.