This is a brief history of the man who struggled to keep his fledgling nation afloat. Jefferson Davis was born into a military family on June 3, His father and uncles fought in the Continental Army in the American Revolution. Three of his older brothers Jefferson was the youngest of ten children fought in the War of
As a senator from Mississippi in the pre-Civil War period and the secretary of war for Democrat Franklin Pierce between andJefferson Davis was one of the influential politicians of his time. Between and he delivered speeches… Early life and career Jefferson Davis was the 10th and last child of Samuel Emory Davis, a Georgia-born planter of Welsh ancestry who had fought in the American Revolution.
When Jefferson Davis, who was named for Thomas Jeffersonwas age three, his family settled on a plantation called Rosemont in Woodville, Mississippi. He later spent four years at the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating 23rd in a class of 33 in In the class behind Davis at West Point were two other cadets who would become prominent Confederate generals, Robert E.
Lee and Joseph E.
Within three months his bride died of malarial fever. Grief-stricken, Davis stayed in virtual seclusion for seven years, creating a plantation out of a wilderness and reading prodigiously in constitutional law and world literature.
In Davis, a Democrat, was elected to the U. House of Representatives and married Varina Howell, a NatchezMississippi, aristocrat who was 18 years his junior and the granddaughter of a former governor of New Jersey.
In Davis resigned his seat in Congress to serve in the Mexican-American War as a colonel in command of the First Mississippi volunteers. He became a national hero for winning the Battle of Buena Vista with tactics that won plaudits even in the European press.
After returning to Mississippi severely wounded, he entered the Senate and soon became chairman of the Military Affairs Committee.
In Davis ran unsuccessfully for governor of Mississippi. Franklin Pierce made him secretary of war in Davis enlarged the army, strengthened coastal defenses, and directed three surveys for railroads to the Pacific. He was also a forceful advocate for what became the Gadsden Purchase.
The children of Jefferson and Varina Davis. Library of Congress, Washington, D. Inafter Pierce left office, Davis returned to the Senate. During the period of mounting intersectional strife, Davis spoke widely in both North and South, urging harmony between the sections.
Douglasa champion of popular sovereigntyand joined Southern Democrats in supporting John C. Breckinridgewho demanded federal government protection for slave holdings in the territories and ran on a separate ticket.
When South Carolina withdrew from the Union in DecemberDavis still opposed secession, though he believed that the Constitution gave a state the right to withdraw from the original compact of states. He was among those who believed that the newly elected president, Abraham Lincolnwould coerce the South and that the result would be disastrous.
President of the Confederacy On January 21,12 days after Mississippi seceded, Davis made a moving farewell speech in the Senate and pleaded eloquently for peace. Davis was surprised at the news of his election.
Unlike many Southern leaders, he had expected war and hoped to become the commander in chief of the Southern armies. In his inaugural address on February 18,Davis said, in part, Davis, JeffersonJefferson Davis, undated engraving.
His first act was to send a peace commission to WashingtonD. Lincoln refused to see his emissaries and the next month decided to send armed ships to CharlestonSouth Carolina, to resupply the beleaguered Union garrison at Fort Sumter.
Davis reluctantly ordered the bombardment of the fort April 12—13which marked the beginning of the American Civil War. Two days later Lincoln called for 75, volunteers, a move that brought about the secession of Virginia and three other states from the Union.
Davis faced a dire crisis. A president without precedent, he had to mold a brand-new nation in the midst of a war. In the meantime, with makeshift materials, Davis created factories for producing powder, cannon, side arms, and quartermaster stores.
Davis sent agents to Europe to buy arms and ammunition, and he dispatched representatives to try to secure recognition from England and France. Davis made the inspired choice of Robert E. Lee as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia in June Jefferson Davis Elected President of the Confederate States of America November 6, As a U.S.
senator from Mississippi, Davis had tried to keep the Union together. When Mississippi seceded from the Union, however, Davis became a Confederate man. Jefferson Davis, ex-president of the Confederate States of America, a memoir, Vol I.
New York: Belford Co. Davis, Varina (). Jefferson Davis, ex-president of the Confederate States of America, a memoir, Vol II. New York: Belford Co. Jefferson Davis ( - ) President of the Confederate States of America.
Jefferson Davis was born June 3, , in that portion of Christian county, Kentucky, which . Jefferson Finis Davis () – Jefferson Davis became the first and only President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War though for most people little else is known about him.
This is a brief history of the man who struggled to keep his fledgling nation afloat. Jefferson Davis Elected President of the Confederate States of America November 6, As a U.S. senator from Mississippi, Davis had tried to keep the Union together.
On this day in , Jefferson Davis, a veteran of the Black Hawk and Mexican-American Wars, begins his term as provisional president of the Confederate States of America. As it turned out, Davis.