- NAME: Jefferson Davis
- OCCUPATION: Government Official
- BIRTH DATE: June 03, 1808
- DEATH DATE: December 06, 1889
- EDUCATION: Transylvania University, United States Military Academy at West Point, Jefferson College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Christian County, Kentucky
- PLACE OF DEATH: New Orleans, Louisiana
- Full Name: Jefferson Finis Davis
- AKA: Jefferson F. Davis
- AKA: Jefferson Davis
Best Known For
Jefferson Davis was a 19th century U.S. senator best known as the president of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.
Jefferson Davis - Treason (2:12)
Jefferson Davis - The End (2:01)
Jefferson Davis served as a U.S. senator and as Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce before becoming the President of the Confederate States of America. After the Civil War, he was indicted for treason but never was tried.
After the Civil War, Jefferson Davis died in prison.
A glimpse into the persistent mind of Jefferson Davis.
A brief glimpse into the life of Jefferson Davis and his rise to lead the confederacy.
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Jefferson Davis was born in Christian County, Kentucky, on June 3, 1808. After a distinguished military career, Davis served as a U.S. senator and as Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce before his election as the president of the secessionist Confederate States of America. He was later indicted for treason, though never tried, and remained a symbol of Southern pride until his death in 1889.
"I regarded the separation of the States as a great, though not the greater evil."
Military leader and statesman Jefferson Finis Davis was born on June 3, 1808, in Christian County, Kentucky (now called Fairview). One of 10 children born into a military family, his birth took place just 100 miles from and eight months earlier than President Abraham Lincoln’s. Davis's father and uncles were soldiers in the American Revolutionary War, and all three of his older brothers fought in the War of 1812. His grandfather was a public servant to the U.S. southern colonies.
Though born in Kentucky, Davis primarily grew up on a plantation near Woodville, Mississippi, eventually returning to Kentucky to attend boarding school in Bardstown. After completing his boarding school education, Davis enrolled at Jefferson College in Mississippi, later transferring to Transylvania University in Kentucky.
In 1824, when Davis was 16 years old, President James Monroe requested that Davis become a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point (New York). One of Davis’s fellow cadets later described the burgeoning young leader as "distinguished in his corps for manly bearing and high-toned and lofty character." In 1828, Davis graduated from West Point, 23rd in his class.
Upon graduating from West Point, Jefferson Davis was assigned to the post of second-lieutenant of the First Infantry. From 1828 to 1833, he carried out his first active service with the U.S. Army. Davis fought with his regiment in the Blackhawk War of 1831, during which they captured Chief Blackhawk himself. The Indian chief was placed under Davis’s care, with Davis winning Blackhawk over through his kind treatment of the prisoner.
In March 1833, Davis was promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to the First Dragoons, a newly formed regiment. He also served as the unit’s staff officer. Until the summer of 1835, Davis continued his service on the battlefield against Indian tribes, including the Comanche and Pawnees. In June 1835, Davis married his commanding officer’s daughter, Sarah Knox Taylor. Because his commanding officer, none other than future president Zachary Taylor, was opposed to the marriage, Davis abruptly resigned his military post to take up civic duties prior to the wedding. Sadly, Sarah died of malaria just a few months later, in September 1835.
After leaving the military, Davis became a cotton farmer while preparing for a career in politics as a Democrat. In 1843, he participated in the gubernatorial campaign and served as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention. His powerful speeches there placed him in high demand.
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America wouldn't be what it is today without Hollywood, and it certainly wouldn't be the same without its armed forces. Military veterans make the ultimate contribution to society—they put their lives on the line for their country. Since the nation's founding, the dedication and bravery of soldiers has been the a key pillar on which the United States stands. From Revolutionary War heroes to Vietnam veterans, here's a look at famous military veterans.
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