Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/96

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

panion and delight, "Little Polly." She was Mary Ellen Davis, who married – without changing-her name—Robert Davis, of South Carolina, and left one daughter, who is still living, Mrs. Mary Ellen Davis Anderson, of Ocean Springs, Miss.

It is another coincidence in the parallels of the lives of the two great leaders in the Civil War, that the Christian County birthplace of Jefferson Davis was in the adjoining one to Hardin County, in which Abraham Lincoln first saw the light, a few miles only separating the spots and only eight months the arrival of those famous stars in the great dramas of politics and war. Strange is it, too, that the two young men caught their first glimpse of war in the Black Hawk War. Davis as Lieutenant in the United States Army, and Lincoln as the Captain of a company of volunteers he had raised and proffered, but which was never in actual conflict.

It might be an odd study for the psychologist to observe whether some innate characteristics of both men, acting upon circumstance—or acted upon by it—may not have led to similar aspirations, and whether they were not shadowed out in the strange, yet unmistakable, likeness in their faces. Looking at their portraits in manhood's prime, it needs no Lavater to read that similar early surroundings, softened the coarser lines of the one, hardened the more delicate tone of the other into absolute similiarity. And it is not less curious that the same causes drove the parents of one to the North and of the other to the South from similar points and at no long interval apart.

In 1811 , when his youngest born was but 3 years old, Samuel Davis decided that Kentucky was not yielding him the returns hoped for when he left Georgia. He proposed to locate in Louisiana ; but, finding the climate unhealthful for a young family, he decided upon Mississippi, and bought there his final family home. This was named "Poplar Grove"—from its splendid growth of those stately trees—was a picturesque and extensive site about a mile and a half from Woodville, in Wilkinson County, Miss. There most of the younger family were reared, the daughters were married and some of their children reared by their venerable grandmother, Mrs. Jane Cook Davis. Of these was Ellen Mary, who never changed her name, and her early orphaned child