Discussion Was Varina Howell Davis, Wife of Jefferson Davis Créole?

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Eleanor Rose

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Interesting that Winnie didn't get married she was kind of hot!
Leftyhunter
A lot of folks were sweet on Winnie for various reasons. When it was proposed after her death that Lucy Lee Hill, daughter of General A.P. Hill, become the "new" Daughter of the Confederacy this was met with a lot of backlash. Needless to say, it didn't happen. Winnie never married, but she did fall in love. Check out the link below to read her sad story. It's short and well worth the read.
 
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Dedej

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Dedej

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I've thought that, too. A lot of Southern aristocracy had black ancestors and Indian ones as well. Confederate general Randall Lee Gibson comes to mind, for example. He didn't show it at all but the rumor started up challenging his status as white - he did a little fast genealogy and stopped when he found his great-grandfather was a plantation owner. That was proof enough for him - blacks couldn't own property. They could before the Revolution and for a while after - great-grandpa was Gideon Gibson, a free man of color. Very definitely black! Curiously, this heritage might have accidentally made him the first African American to graduate from Yale...

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Thanks for sharing! and yup.. I see it. LOL
 
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leftyhunter

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A lot of folks were sweet on Winnie for various reasons. When it was proposed after her death that Lucy Lee Hill, daughter of General A.P. Hill, become the "new" Daughter of the Confederacy this was met with a lot of backlash. Needless to say, it didn't happen. Winnie never married, but she did fall in love. Check out the link below to read her sad story. It's short and well worth the read.
I just read the story and yes it was sad. Winnie had a lot going for her.
Leftyhunter
 

Dedej

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I have never seen anything in print that identifies Varina as Creole, but she certainly looks the part. Interestingly enough she was best of friends with Judah Benjamin. Judah served in two positions in the Davis cabinet before being named Secretary of State. Although he wasn't from Natchez, he migrated there and bought a plantation just outside of town and opened up a legal practice. He married Natalie St. Martin, a known Creole, and this may well have contributed to the close bond he developed with Varina. Varina Davis is a fascinating woman. I look forward to hearing from others on this topic.



When Varina was living in Richmond her critics (and they were numerous) described her as looking like a mulatto. It appears she and her family always attributed her olive complexion to her Welsh ancestry.
That may be the truth.

Because for the longest time - I thought Tom Jones was Black, Mixed or needed to check into a rehab for a tanning addiction.

But no -- he's has Welch ancestry. So, that very well may explain it.

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novushomus

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a. Creole. No way. That refers to a person with a Caribbean origin. They were not
b. Who cares?
Not necessarily.

Technically, Creole is a romance language word originally meaning any person with predominately European ancestry who was born and raised in the New World. It comes from the Portuguese word criollo (adopted as such by the Spanish, but changed to Creole in French Louisiana and the Caribbean), and in New Spain referred to a white or nearly all white person who in the Spanish social caste ranked above every other racial category but below actual Europeans. As the word Criollo it was used all over South and Central America. For a time, it came to mean several things; French Louisianans who were not resettled from Acadia, French and Spanish descent Louisianians of black and white mixture (such as Beyoncé Knowles for example), and today represents not only those original meanings but also to refer to certain aspects of Louisiana and gulf state culture in general.

It is certainly a very important word for the cultural histories of Louisiana, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
 
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Dedej

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I don't think the ladies cared one way or another. They just:hug: wanted a piece of TJ to bite off.
Leftyhunter
I bet. LOL

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Tom wanted to know just like we did. I am not sure if he ever posted his results.

‘A lot of people still think I’m black. When I first came to America, people who had heard me sing on the radio would be surprised that I was white when they saw me. Because of my hair a lot of black people still tell me I’m just passing as white.’
 

Southern Unionist

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The terminology is getting confusing. A Louisiana bayou country native, and tourguide with a degree in history, told me the original Louisiana definition of Creole consisted of three things; you had to be born in Louisiana, speak French as your first language, and be a member of the Catholic Church. No racial limitations, or anything else that would show up in a picture. I guess the definition has floated around a bit since then.
 

leftyhunter

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I bet. LOL

View attachment 136103

Tom wanted to know just like we did. I am not sure if he ever posted his results.

‘A lot of people still think I’m black. When I first came to America, people who had heard me sing on the radio would be surprised that I was white when they saw me. Because of my hair a lot of black people still tell me I’m just passing as white.’
Back in the day women would throw their unmentionables at him. Maybe now a days not so much but ask women who were say of age in the 60s and 70s and yeah they wanted a piece of TJ.
Leftyhunter
 
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Dedej

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The terminology is getting confusing. A Louisiana bayou country native, and tourguide with a degree in history, told me the original Louisiana definition of Creole consisted of three things; you had to be born in Louisiana, speak French as your first language, and be a member of the Catholic Church. No racial limitations, or anything else that would show up in a picture. I guess the definition has floated around a bit since then.
I totally agree. I am not good at it at all. . For family - one of my maternal Great Grannies is from Lafourche, Louisiana -and moved to Mobile. The speak French and Louisiana Creole.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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It's a great thread, Dede! Let me call someone who may have some information? At least on Creole ancestry- if not Varina. Rats. Will go dig around because this came up somewhere here. @18thVirginia , can you help, please?

Varina was lovely, wasn't she? I've always found it so odd, 150 years later there's still speculation the marriage was some loveless affair. Like she could not have chosen anyone. Varina was a catch.

Boy am I behind on this topic. Always thought she was of Creole ancestry and it was not a secret?
 
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