President Jefferson Davis

In Scotland



Jefferson Davis the President of the Southern Confederacy, arrived in London in 1868, after his long imprisonment in a federal fortress awaiting trial for Treason.
Davis came to England, to recuperate after his long term of imprisonment, during which he had been submitted to every possible ignominy and degradation, in the hope that death would releive the Federal government of a troublesome captive.

In the autumn of 1869, Mr Davis took a holiday in Scotland in the accompaniment of Dr Charles MacKay, and visited Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oban, the Hebrides and Inverness.

They travelled by sea from St Katherines Wharf to Granton, making Edinburgh their first stop. Wherever they travelled to in Scotland Mr Davis was received with respect and the sympathy to which his misfortune had a claim. Several years later Mr Davis, delivered a speech after a public dinner, in which he recounted some of the incidents of their journey through Scotland. The speech was republished afterwards in a pamphlet in Glasgow under the title of "The Scottish People"

Two Incidents that occurred were not recorded, but were related in Dr MacKay's autobiography - Through the Long Day" -
The first occurred at Invergarry, the Highland seat of Mr Edward Ellice, know in parlimentary circles as "Bear Ellice". One morning they were seated at breakfast, when Mr Ellice noticed his yacht, was gaily decorated with flags, called dressing ship in naval terms, Ah! it is my birthday, he announced. It was very kind of the Captain to remember the fact. Later in the day, the Captain told Dr MacKay that he didn't know that it was Ellice's birthday, but had in fact done it to honour Mr Jefferson Davis.

When in Inverness, Mr Davis was given a tour of Culloden Battlefield by Mr Robert Carruthers, the editor of the "Inverness Courier" and learned where the clans fought and fell. Sitting by the well, where Cumberlands Cavalry charged the Scots was a shepherd. Thinking that the shepherd would be interested in knowing that he was in the presence of such an eminent person, Mr Carruthers asked if he had not heard of Mr Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern Confederacy? Never was the reply, and what is the Southern Confederacy, is it in England or some Limited Company. Mr Davis whispered to Carruthers - "it is evident that your friend does not read the "Inverness Courier"

During his stay in Glasqow, Mr Davis had stayed with Mr James Smith, of Dowan Hill, who had resided for some years in the state of Mississippi. I beleive this James Smith to be the brother of Col Robert Alexander Smith of the 10th Mississippi Rifles, who was killed at the Battle of Munfordsville. 

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Letter to Duncan MacAulay from Jefferson Davis

       :

PRESIDENT'S OFFICE,

Richmond, Va., May 17, 1864.

DUNCAN MACAULEY, Esq.,

No.4 Fourth Street, Edinburgh, Scotland:

DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of the 20th of January last, and learn with much gratification that a very large portion of the inhabitants of Edinburgh appreciate and sympathize with this people in their struggle for freedom and self-government. It is quite encouraging to know that all the efforts of our enemies to misrepresent the true nature of the conflict on this continent have been without success, and that numerous associations have been formed in Great Britain for the purpose of giving effectual expression to public opinion in our favor. The names of Mr. James Spencer and Mr. Thomas Kesshaw were known to us long before the receipt of your letter as those of men to whom we owe warm acknowledgments for generous and useful service to our cause; and I pray you to communicate to them and their associates, as well as to receive for yourself, the assurances of our gratitude, of the esteem we entertain for their persons, and of the value we attach to their disinterested and active efforts in our behalf.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

 


Jefferson Davis was of Welsh ancestors, I must thank Wayne Thomas, Pvt, Company 'D' 1st Texas Infantry ( Hood's Brigade) for keeping me right on this point