|Davis as President|
Jefferson Davis was born on June 3rd, 1808. He attended West Point and became a soldier. He was a military hero in the Mexican American War and later became the American Secretary of State. He served as a representative and senator in the US Congress from Missisippi. When Mississippi seceded he followed his state and went south. He gave a farewell address to the Senate, which you can read here, in which he said:
Then, Senators, we recur to the compact which binds us together; we recur to the principles upon which our Government was founded; and when you deny them, and when you deny to us the right to withdraw from a Government which thus perverted threatens to be destructive of our rights, we but tread in the path of our fathers when we proclaim our independence, and take the hazard. This is done not in hostility to others, not to injure any section of the country, not even for our own pecuniary benefit; but from the high and solemn motive of defending and protecting the rights we inherited, and which it is our sacred duty to transmit unshorn to our children.He was one of the highest military and political leaders in the South at the time and was a qualified cantidate for the office. Personally he expected to be a military commander and was already head of the troops from Mississippi.
As president, Davis had both good and bad qualities. Ever since the Civil War people have claimed that his mistakes caused the South to loose the war. While he did make mistakes, he was fighting on the losing side and it was not his fault that the war was lost. He had problems in dealing with certain factions in the South, which included his vice president, Alexander Stephens. As the leader of the Confederate forces, he had strong friends and strong enemies. Some generals he loved and worked very well with, such as Robert E. Lee. Others' usefulness was hampered because he would not work with them.
After the war Davis was kept in prison for treason, and after his release he was a popluar figure throughout the South. He wrote several books defending the South and his own actions as its president. He died on December 6th, 1889. We will meet him again as the war progresses.
|Alexander Stephens, his vice president|