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Victorians in Disguise – Part II


Besides Abraham Lincoln, another famous Victorian purported to be wearing a disguise was Jefferson Davis. This story occurred as the last shots were fired in the war.

“Northern newspapers reported that Jefferson Davis had been dressed as a woman at the time of his capture in Georgia.” Harpers Weekly, on May 27, had a picture of Davis in a long dress surrounded by Federal soldiers.

But as with the story of Lincoln’s Scottish cap, the story was fabricated. On May 10th when Davis was captured he’d dressed for riding with a raincoat thrown over his shoulders.

From the book More Civil War Curiosities by Webb Garrison



  1. LOL I think I like the first version better. It’s certainly more colorful to imagine Jefferson Davis dressed as a woman.

    Great blog, Susan!

  2. And they even had a cartoon to go with the story, even though it was entirely false. LOL.

    Thanks, Nicole!

  3. Susan, thanks for the post. Amazing how facts get twisted, isn’t it?

  4. The press hasn’t changed much, have they, especially the scandal rags. I can imagine someone like Davis would have been horrified at being caught in a dress so even the reporting of it would have been devastating to the man’s ego.

  5. I would think so, Paisley! And you’re right, Caroline. Doesn’t it remind you of the scandal mags? And this was in a respected paper of the period!

  6. Hi Susan,
    Interesting blog. Typical of newspapers, not letting the facts get in the way of a good story.



  7. LOL, Margaret! Thanks for stopping by!

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