Nursemaid in Jefferson Davis's Household
Original Author: Unknown
Created: Mid-nineteenth century
Medium: Hand-colored ambrotype

Nursemaid in Jefferson Davis’s Household

Ellen Barnes, an enslaved servant in the household of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, holds his youngest daughter, Varina Anne "Winnie," in her lap. The Davis family referred to Barnes as "Mammy Nellie." The light-skinned black woman labored as a nurse for the children and a maid for Jefferson Davis's second wife, Varina.