"Varina Davis is a lady in any event," Southern women of thearistocratic circles of Washington told the war correspondent of theLondon Times who had been sent to the National Capital to reportall the news he could gather concerning the secession of the SouthernStates from the great American Union. There was a finality in their tonesand manner as if the fact settled the whole question and right ofsecession. And being such perfect ladies themselves, who could be a betterjudge of what it took to be one. . . . They further informed him thatVarina was popular and had friends and social influence in Washington,adding with pursed lips that she belonged to the set they called nicepeople; not like such people as he had seen in the White House.Thus Mrs. Jefferson Davis was described to one who, with piqued curiosity,was soon to meet her as the First Lady of the Southern Confederacy. . . .But Varina Howell Davis came proudly to her high station. She was notwithout a due understanding of its significance, nor was she without thefeeling that she, in some degree, deserved the distinction."--from Chapter IIn this volume, Mrs. Rowland has written a charming and accuratehistorical narrative of the Southern Confederacy in which the wife ofJefferson Davis plays a part that holds and fascinates the reader. Thenarrative, written in an easy, yet frank and forceful style, denotes thework as an important contribution to American biography.
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