wives-varina-davis-c-1890         Varinia Davis

After Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, he and his family were taken to Macon, Ga. Along the way, they passed Union soldiers singing, “We’ll hang Jeff Davis from a sour apple tree.”

Davis was imprisoned in Fort Monroe for almost two years, never allowed fresh air despite his deteriorating health. at least until newspapers wrote about his plight.

He was released on bail put up by newspaper publisher Horace Greeley, and all charges were dropped in 1869.

After Davis’ 1889 death, his wife Varina was recruited by her pal Kay Davis Pulitzer to write for Pulitzer’s husband’s popular New York World.

The presidential widow moved to New York City and became fast friends with Julia Grant, widow of President U. S. Grant, one-time leader of the Union forces.

As the two friends rode through Manhattan in an open carriage, New Yorkers delighted in pointing out the odd couple.