John Dabney
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States (Confederate States, 1861-5)
Date of Birth: 1824
Date of Death: 1900
Occupation: Slave, cook, bartender, restaurateur
Parents: London and Elizabeth Dabney
Spouse: Elizabeth Foster
Children: Nine
Fictional Appearances:
The Guns of the South
POD: January 17, 1864
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Confederate States

John G. Dabney (c. 1824 - June 7, 1900) was a renowned Richmond-based caterer through much of the 19th century. Dabney began acquiring his reputation while enslaved, even serving one of his famed mint juleps to the Prince of Wales, who was visiting the U.S. in 1860. He was in the process of purchasing his own freedom when the American Civil War ended slavery. Known for his integrity, he could secure credit from banks, which he and his wife used to purchase several properties and open a restaurant.

John Dabney in The Guns of the South[]

The Prince of Wales' praise for John Dabney's culinary skills had gotten enough business for the latter that he was able to buy himself out of slavery and open his own establishment. It was unthinkable to have a large event in Richmond without Dabney being involved. President Robert E. Lee hired Dabney to cater his inauguration, and was impressed by his skills. Dabney, being illiterate, had a legendary ability to keep all his orders and directions memorized without making a single mistake.[1]