- 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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One year later, he became an elector for Pork and Dallas, taking the stance of state protection against federal interference and supporting Texas’ annexation in the process.
In December 1845, Davis won election to the U.S. House of Representatives and claimed a seat in Congress, which caused him to gain more public attention. Additionally, he remarried, this time to a woman named Varina Howell. The marriage helped further forge his connection with Mississippi planters,
as Varina’s family was of that class.
As a congressman, Davis was known for his passionate and charismatic speeches, and he quickly became actively involved in debates about Texas, Oregon and tariffs. Davis’s congressional accomplishments include orchestrating the conversion of forts into military training schools. Throughout his congressional term, his support of states’ right remained unwavering.
In June 1846, Jefferson Davis resigned from his position in Congress to lead the First Regiment of the Mississippi Riflemen in the Mexican-American War. He held the rank of colonel under his former father-in-law, General Zachary Taylor. During the Mexican-American War, Davis fought in the Battles of Monterrey and Buena Vista, in 1846 and 1847, respectively. At the Battle of Monterrey, he led his men to victory in an assault at Fort Teneria. He was injured at the Battle of Buena Vista when he blocked a charge of Mexican swords—an incident that earned him nationwide acclaim. So impressed was General Taylor that he admitted he had formerly misjudged Davis’s character. "My daughter, sir, was a better judge of man than I was," Taylor reportedly conceded.
In 1847, following Davis’s heroic feat, Zachary Taylor appointed him U.S. senator from Mississippi—a seat that had opened as a result of Senator Jesse Speight’s death. After serving the rest of Speight’s term, from December to January of 1847, Davis was re-elected for an additional term. As a senator, he advocated for slavery and states’ rights, and opposed the admission of California to the Union as a free state—such a hot button issue at the time that members of the House of Representatives sometimes broke into fistfights. Davis held his Senate seat until 1851 and went on to run for the Mississippi governorship, but lost the election.
Explaining the way his position on the Union had evolved during his time in the Senate, David once stated, "My devotion to the Union of our fathers had been so often and so publicly declared; I had on the floor of the Senate so defiantly challenged any question of my fidelity to it; my services, civil and military, had now extended through so long a period and were so generally known, that I felt quite assured that no whisperings of envy or ill-will could lead the people of Mississippi to believe that I had dishonored their trust by using the power they had conferred on me to destroy the government to which I was accredited. Then, as afterward, I regarded the separation of the states as a great, though not the greater evil."
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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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