Jefferson Finis Davis, President, CSA (1808 - 1889) MP

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Birthplace: Christian County, Kentucky (now Todd County)
Death: Died in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Occupation: Confederate President
Managed by: Joan Barbara Strenkowski
Last Updated:

About Jefferson Finis Davis, President, CSA

United States Senator from Mississippi and an American politician who served as President of the Confederate States of America for its entire history, 1861 to 1865, during the American Civil War.

A West Point graduate, Davis fought in the Mexican-American War as a colonel of a volunteer regiment, and was the United States Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce. Both before and after his time in the Pierce Administration, he served as a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. As a senator he argued against secession but believed each state was sovereign and had an unquestionable right to secede from the Union.

Davis resigned from the Senate in January 1861, after receiving word that Mississippi had seceded from the Union. The following month, he was provisionally appointed President of the Confederate States of America. He was elected to a six-year term that November. During his presidency, Davis was not able to find a strategy to defeat the larger, more industrially developed Union. Davis' insistence on independence, even in the face of crushing defeat, prolonged the war.

After Davis was captured in 1865, he was charged with treason, though not convicted, and stripped of his eligibility to run for public office. This limitation was removed in 1978, 89 years after his death. While not disgraced, he was displaced in Southern affection after the war by its leading general, Robert E. Lee.

retirement

On May 19, 1865, Davis was imprisoned in a casemate at Fortress Monroe, on the coast of Virginia. He was placed in irons for three days. Davis was indicted for treason a year later. While in prison, Davis arranged to sell his Mississippi estate to one of his former slaves, Ben Montgomery. Montgomery was a talented business manager, mechanic, and even an inventor who had become wealthy in part from running his own general store.

Jefferson Davis at his home c.1885After two years of imprisonment, he was released on bail which was posted by prominent citizens of both northern and southern states, including Horace Greeley, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Gerrit Smith (Smith, a former member of the Secret Six, had supported John Brown). Davis visited Canada, Cuba and Europe. In December 1868, the court rejected a motion to nullify the indictment, but the prosecution dropped the case in February 1869.

In 1869 Davis became president of the Carolina Life Insurance Company in Memphis, Tennessee, where he resided at the Peabody Hotel.[4] Upon Robert E. Lee's death in 1870, Davis presided over the memorial meeting in Richmond, Virginia. Elected to the U.S. Senate again, he was refused the office in 1875, having been barred from Federal office by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He turned down the opportunity to become the first president of the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University).

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Confederate president during the Civil War.

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Jefferson Finis Davis is Dorothy Willard's third cousin 8 times removed's husband.

Dorothy Willard (Duncan) -John Henry Duncan, Dorothy’s father-Emma Whitman, John Henry’s mother- Mary Jane Stodghill, Emma’s mother- Joel Stodghill, Mary’s father- Lucy Higginbotham, Joel’s mother- Dolly Gatewood, Lucy’s mother- Catherine Penn, Dolly’s mother- Mary Taylor, Catherine’s mother- John Taylor, Mary’s father- James Taylor, John’s father- Elizabeth Nin, James mother- Sarah Allerton, Elizabeth’s mother- Elizabeth Lee, Sarah’s daughter and Elizabeth Nin’s sister- Richard Taylor, Elizabeth Lee’s son-President Zachary Taylor, Richard’s son, Sarah Knox Taylor, daughter of Zachary Taylor & wife of Jefferson Finis Davis who was the President of the Confederate states of America.

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(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Davis)

Jefferson Finis Davis (June 3, 1808 – December 6, 1889) was an American politician who served as President of the Confederate States of America for its entire history, 1861 to 1865, during the American Civil War.

A West Point graduate, Davis fought in the Mexican-American War as a colonel of a volunteer regiment, and was the United States Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce. Both before and after his time in the Pierce Administration, he served as a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. As a senator he argued against secession but believed each state was sovereign and had an unquestionable right to secede from the Union.

Davis resigned from the Senate in January 1861, after receiving word that Mississippi had seceded from the Union. The following month, he was provisionally appointed President of the Confederate States of America. He was elected to a six-year term that November. During his presidency, Davis was not able to find a strategy to defeat the larger, more industrially developed Union. Davis' insistence on independence, even in the face of crushing defeat, prolonged the war.

After Davis was captured in 1865, he was charged with treason, though not convicted, and stripped of his eligibility to run for public office. This limitation was removed in 1978, 89 years after his death. While not disgraced, he was displaced in Southern affection after the war by its leading general, Robert E. Lee.

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Jefferson Finis Davis (June 3, 1808 – December 6, 1889) was an American politician who served as President of the Confederate States of America for its entire history from 1861 to 1865 during the American Civil War. Davis believed that corruption had destroyed the old Union and that the Confederacy had to be pure to survive.[1] During his presidency, Davis was never able to find a strategy that would defeat the larger, more industrially developed Union. Davis's insistence on independence even in the face of crushing defeat prolonged the war, and while not exactly disgraced, he was displaced in Southern affection after the war by the leading general, Robert E. Lee. After Davis was captured in 1865, he was held in a federal prison for two years, then released as the treason charges against him were dropped.

A West Point graduate, Davis prided himself on the military skills he gained in the Mexican-American War as a colonel of a volunteer regiment, and as U.S. Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Davis

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American politician who served as President of the Confederate States of America for its entire history, 1861 to 1865, during the American Civil War.

A West Point graduate, Davis fought in the Mexican-American War as a colonel of a volunteer regiment, and was the United States Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce. Both before and after his time in the Pierce Administration, he served as a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. As a senator he argued against secession but believed each state was sovereign and had an unquestionable right to secede from the Union.

Davis resigned from the Senate in January 1861, after receiving word that Mississippi had seceded from the Union. The following month, he was provisionally appointed President of the Confederate States of America. He was elected to a six-year term that November. During his presidency, Davis was not able to find a strategy to defeat the larger, more industrially developed Union. Davis' insistence on independence, even in the face of crushing defeat, prolonged the war.

After Davis was captured in 1865, he was charged with treason, though not convicted, and stripped of his eligibility to run for public office. This limitation was removed in 1978, 89 years after his death. While not disgraced, he was displaced in Southern affection after the war by its leading general, Robert E. Lee. He was also an innocent prisoner because he was charged for planning the murder of Abraham Lincoln and he was not guilty of this charge. The treason charge was dropped after two years of prison. During his imprisonment on unconvicted and false charges, he was held in irons for 3 days and nights.

He fell in love with Zachary Taylor's daughter, Sarah Knox Taylor. Her father did not approve of the match, so Davis resigned his commission and married Miss Taylor on June 17, 1835, at the house of her aunt near Louisville, Kentucky. The marriage, however, proved to be short. While visiting Davis' oldest sister near Saint Francisville, Louisiana, both newlyweds contracted malaria, and Davis' wife died three months after the wedding on September 15, 1835. In 1836, he moved to Brierfield Plantation in Warren County, Mississippi. For the next eight years, Davis was a recluse, studying government and history, and engaging in private political discussions with his brother Joseph.

The year 1844 saw Davis' first political success, as he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, taking office on March 4 of the following year. In 1845, Davis married Varina Howell. On May 19, 1865, Davis was imprisoned in a casemate at Fortress Monroe, on the coast of Virginia. He was placed in irons for three days. Davis was indicted for treason a year later. While in prison, Davis arranged to sell his Mississippi estate to one of his former slaves, Ben Montgomery. Montgomery was a talented business manager, mechanic, and even an inventor who had become wealthy in part from running his own general store.

In 1869 Davis became president of the Carolina Life Insurance Company in Memphis, Tennessee, where he resided at the Peabody Hotel.[4] Upon Robert E. Lee's death in 1870, Davis presided over the memorial meeting in Richmond, Virginia. Elected to the U.S. Senate again, he was refused the office in 1875, having been barred from Federal office by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He turned down the opportunity to become the first president of the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University).

In 1876, he promoted a society for the stimulation of U.S. trade with South America. Davis visited England the next year, returning in 1878 to Beauvoir (Biloxi, Mississippi). Over the next three years there, Davis wrote The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. Having completed that book, he visited Europe again, and traveled to Alabama and Georgia the following year.

He completed A Short History of the Confederate States of America in October 1889. Two months later on December 6, Davis died in New Orleans of unestablished cause at the age of eighty-one. His funeral was one of the largest ever staged in the South, and included a continuous cortège, day and night, from New Orleans to Richmond, Virginia. He is buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

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President of the Confederacy

Please see Wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Davis

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An American politician who served as President of the Confederate States of America for its entire history, 1861 to 1865, during the American Civil War.

A West Point graduate, Davis fought in the Mexican-American War as a colonel of a volunteer regiment, and was the United States Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce. Both before and after his time in the Pierce Administration, he served as a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. As a senator he argued against secession but believed each state was sovereign and had an unquestionable right to secede from the Union.

Davis resigned from the Senate in January 1861, after receiving word that Mississippi had seceded from the Union. The following month, he was provisionally appointed President of the Confederate States of America. He was elected to a six-year term that November. During his presidency, Davis was not able to find a strategy to defeat the larger, more industrially developed Union. Davis' insistence on independence, even in the face of crushing defeat, prolonged the war.

After Davis was captured in 1865, he was charged with treason, though not tried, and stripped of his eligibility to run for public office. This limitation was removed in 1978, 89 years after his death. While not disgraced, he was displaced in Southern affection after the war by its leading general, Robert E. Lee. -------------------- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) was born, like Abraham Lincoln, in Kentucky. His family seems to have been of modest circumstances, and soon moved to the newly opened southern frontier in Mississippi. Possessing great intelligence and imagination, Davis was educated at a number of institutions, including Transylvania University before entering West Point, from which he was graduated. Robert E. Lee was a fellow cadet.

Davis then served in the army at a number of posts in Wisconsin and Illinois, and he (like Lincoln) served in the Black Hawk War in 1832. He resigned from the army in 1835, married the daughter of Colonel Zachary Taylor, who was the commandant of Davi s's post at the time, and returned to Mississippi as a planter. Davis's marriage was cut short by his wife's sudden death three months later of malaria. For ten years, Davis tended to his plantation, "Brierfield," read extensively, and made only infrequent excursions outside his community.

In 1845, Davis strengthened his ties to the Mississippi planter class by marrying a woman from a socially prominent family. At the same time, his career became more public when he was elected to Congress as a Democrat. With the outbreak of the Mexican War, however, Davis resigned his seat in order to command a Mississippi regiment. His bravery at the battles of Monterrey and Buena Vista won him acclaim.

Davis was then elected to the United States Senate where he became a leading spokesman for southern rights. Although willing to accept the extension of the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific, Davis argued the right of slavery to go into the territories, and he adamantly opposed the admission of California as a free state. Davis's stand proved too extreme for Mississippi in the aftermath of the Compromise of 1850. In 1851, in a complicated political maneuver, Davis stepped down as senator to run against a pro-compromise "Union" candidate for governor, and lost.

Davis's return to the life of a planter proved only temporary. In 1853 he became secretary of war in the cabinet of President Franklin Pierce, where he demonstrated his southern expansionist leanings. With the close of the Pierce administration, he returned to the Senate and became a leader of the southern Democratic defense of slavery and its constitutional right to protection in the territories. More controversially, he advocated the revival of th e slave trade.

Although he did not advocate immediate secession following Lincoln's election, Davis accepted his state's decision to leave the Union. With the formation of the Confederacy, he hoped for a high military position, and when news arrived at Brierfield of his selection as provisional President, his wife described him as "so grieved that I feared some evil had befallen our family." Davis, nevertheless, accepted the position, and on February 18, 1861 was inaugurated President.

Davis was described by a contemporary as "a gentleman," having a "slight, light figure, little exceeding middle height, and holds himself erect and straight." He had high, prominent cheek-bones, thin lips, and deep-set eyes, one of which was nearly blin d from an illness. To all but a few intimates, Davis was reserved and severe in manner. Both indecisive and stubborn, his inflexibility, moral rectitude, and lack of humor did not help him in dealing with opponents.

Davis was passionately committed to the cause of the Confederacy, and his labors on its behalf took a heavy personal toll. While contemporaries and, later, historians have found much to criticize about his leadership, most scholars consider that he guided the Confederacy as ably as one could expect, given its situation. http://www.tulane.edu/~latner/Davis.html

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Jefferson Davis, President, CSA's Timeline

1808
June 3, 1808
Christian County, Kentucky (now Todd County)
1824
1824
- 1828
Age 15
West Point, New York, United States
1835
June 17, 1835
Age 27
Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky
1845
February 26, 1845
Age 36
Natchez, Mississippi
March 4, 1845
- June 1846
Age 36
1847
August 10, 1847
- September 23, 1851
Age 39
1849
1849
- 1851
Age 40
1852
July 30, 1852
Age 44
1853
March 7, 1853
- March 4, 1857
Age 44
1853
- 1857
Age 44
United States