Announcement! A New Book!
Jim Limber was a real person. I researched him at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. In February, 1864, a little Negro boy abused in Richmond, Virginia, was rescued, taken home and raised with a white family. The rescuer was Varina Davis, wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a slaver. One of many surprises. For the next year the child lived in the nursery with the Davis children who considered him their “near-brother.” He was with them when they fled Richmond; he was there when they were arrested in Georgia and when they departed on the prison boat. His day to day life with them was documented by Varina Davis in her diaries and journals which are archived in the Museum of the Confederacy, formerly the White House of the Confederacy where Jim Limber lived with them. What he said, what he wore, what the children did…it’s all there from the heart of the mother.
The first third of the book is Jim’s one-year biography. But what became of him? The second third is historical fiction. The final third is a choose-your-own ending or a write-your-own ending. The mystery of Jim Limber is--who was he before he “became a Davis” and what happened to him after? There is no record of him.
His time with the Davis kids was fun to write, thanks to Varina’s documents. I could never have made up the kind of mischief they got into! I hope the middle graders are going to enjoy meeting him, discovering the kids’ life in 1864 and creating the rest of Jim’s story. It’s a fun way to learn history. We’re going to have fun selling this book.