>Jefferson Davis, Betsy Young, and The New Liberty Bell 1881

>1881 Warsaw Daily Times September 6th

From the newspaper article:

“In the bell is a key that was sent as the key to the great jail of ancient Venice and used in the opening the large doors on the Bridge of Sighs hundreds of years ago.

A negro slave owned by Jefferson Davis sent the key to the door of the old Davis homestead and a money contribution besides.

Wow how interesting!

The inscriptions on the bell are as follows: “Glory to God in the Highest: on Earth Peace Good Will to Men; A New Commandment I Give Unto Thee: That Ye Love One Another Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Earth and to All the Inhabitants Thereof.”

“The bell after the exposition will be taken back to Washington and there rung on the day that Georgia ratified the constitution. Then it will be taken tot he battlefield of New Orleans and then to the City of Mexico, there to be rung on Patriots’ day.

It is planned by Carnegie and others, who are working to unite the English speaking race, to ohold a celebration on the battlefield of Rannymede and have the bell rang there. It will go on to Washington, then to Australia and the forth year to South America to start the English speaking people of the world togather in the chorus of liberty. It is being planned to hold the next World’s fair in Jerusalem, and there the bell is to ring out the anthem of liberty.”

Warsaw Daily Times Sep 6 1893 – Indiana

NOTE: In reading the article 1881 Warsaw Daily Times from September 6th., one should keep in mind that the Director General of the World’s Fair was George R. Davis.  See the New York Times article of his acceptance to the position in 1890.  In this article, too, was a report of an error in the Census.  You may visit more fair events and websites on flickr and this recent article about White City, which relates a bit of horror.

After the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, the bell disappeared. This link describes the disappearance of the Columbian Liberty Bell. and also discusses where the bell may be today.

More on Jefferson Davis

This story of Jim Limber Davis – an orphan living in the Davis home – was posted recently to the SUV blog, which I found interesting along with this Museum of the Confederacy reprint in the Civil War Talk Forum. The articles relate that Varina found the little boy Jim being beaten and saved him.  She took him into her home.  There was also this elementary study guide.

The following Google eBook states that former Davis slaves petitioned to have Davis released from prison.

This CNN article too found its way to my lap this morning about another slave of Jefferson Davis who was a Union spy, William Jackson.

Along that line, there is this letter of evidence that a Davis slave named Betsy Nick,  ran away in 1864.   Another Davis slave, named Betsy Young who remained at Brierfield. Coincidentally,  Betsy Young is the name of  a black Union Civil War nurse from Mississippi.  There are at least five records of Nurses who were African-American women.  Is this the same Betsy Young? Hmmm. The dates given in the CWSS record for Betsy Young indicate her service beginning, December 31, 1863. It is so close to 1864 when the Jefferson Davis letters reveal that Betsy Nick ran away. Yes?  Did the two Betsy’s communicate?  It would not be surprising to me if this were the same Betsy Young, considering the former Davis slave, William Jackson,  who has been called a spy and then viewing the article above about the New Liberty Bell whose contributor was also a Davis slave, although, unnamed in the article.

The Red Rover was captured by Union forces in 1862.  Betsey or Betsy Young’s record indicates her service aboard the Red Rover on December 31, 1863 when it was converted to Union service. If you will read the article below, Betsey or Betsy Young is credited with preventing the Union from burning the Davis plantation house in May of 1863. The plantation home was 20 miles from Vicksburg and burned in 1931.  It is currently a private hunting reserve. See URL

More on Betsy or Betsey Young

 “The logs of the Red Rover’s commander indicate that the ship’s medical officers provided nurses’ training to the most competent of the contraband women –Sarah Bohannon, ellen Campbell, Betsy (Betsey) Young and Georginia Harris, among them.  The Catholic sister and the African-American women were the first women to have official status on board a U.S. naval vessel.” Google Book

“During the Vicksburg campaign (May 18-July 4, 1863) the Mississippi Squadron coordinated with Admiral Farragut’s ships that had sailed upstream from New Orleans  and though they took heavy casualties they prevailed and Vicksburg fell. The Navy’s web site notes that the Mississippi Squadron drew heavily on African-Americans for its crews. — yesterdaysisland.com

The USS Red Rover, a 625-ton side-wheel river steamer, was built for commercial use in 1859. She served initially as the CSS Red Rover in 1861 and was captured on April, 7 1862 at Island Number Ten (in the Mississippi River) by the USS Mound City.  She served as a hospital ship for the U.S. Army’s Western Gunboat Flotilla through the summer of 1862, and was re-commissioned as the USS Red Rover of that year. She was used for the rest of the Civil War as a hospital ship for the Mississippi Squadron and sailed with them during their engagements. “ http://southernmostillinoishistory.net/redrover.htm

 The CWSS record for Betsey Young:

Betsey Young

    Personal Information
     Place of Birth – Warren Co. Mississippi
     Age – 50
     Complexion – Mulatto
     Occupation –
     Height – 5’3″
    Naval Service
     Place of Enlistment –
     Date of Enlistment –
     Term of Enlistment –
     Rating – Nurse
    Detailed Muster Records

      Date Vessel
         December 31, 1863      Red Rover
         April 1, 1864      Red Rover
         July 1, 1864      Red Rover
         October 1, 1864      Red Rover
         January 1, 1865      Red Rover

Was Betsey Young both a Davis’ slave and a Union nurse?  Don’t know.  Haven’t found a mountain of evidence in a obvious place yet.

Wouldn’t it be odd to find the New Liberty Bell in the Middle East somewhere today?  We’ve heard it ringing in the news……..



About Louisiana Genealogy Admin

I manage several RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards, support Louisiana Cemetery Preservation, am a former Louisiana and Mississippi librarian, have been researching genealogy of my family since 1988, and write and promote several blogs supporting either Louisiana genealogy or Louisiana cemeteries.
This entry was posted in African-American, Civil War, Jefferson Davis, Liberty Bell, Red Rover, slaves, US NAVY. Bookmark the permalink.

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