Monday, June 3, 2013

"One of the most gifted and remarkable men North America has ever produced"


On 3 June 1808 was born in Christian County, Kentucky Jefferson Finis Davis who became the first president of the Confederacy. A man of amazing talents, intellect, & courage, he graduated from West Point in 1828 and was assigned to Wisconsin. Although he was absent during the Black Hawk War in 1832, his Colonel, Zachary Taylor, assigned him to escort Black Hawk to prison. The Indian later noted in his autobiography the kindness Davis showed him.

At Ft. Crawford Davis fell in love with his commandant's daughter, Sarah Knox Taylor, but Taylor refused to give his permission for Davis to marry her because he didn't want his daughter to marry a military man. Davis resigned and married her anyway. He moved to Mississippi where his brother gave him land. After three months of marriage, Sarah died of malaria at age 25. At the same time Davis nearly succumbed to the disease. For 8 years he became a recluse, worshipping his wife's memory. In 1842 he began his career in Mississippi Politics, and married again in 1845 to Varina Banks Howell, by whom he had six children.

In 1846 Davis raised a volunteer regiment and led it into the Mexican War, where he acquitted himself bravely. In 1847 he was appointed to fill an empty US Senate seat, where, ironically, he became chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs. In 1853 Pres. Franklin Pierce appointed him Secretary of War, in which office he helped to modernize the very army his country would be fighting only a few years later.

He was elected president of the new Confederacy. Against all the carpers who criticized him, after the war Robert E. Lee said, "You can always say that few people could have done better than Mr. Davis. I know of none that could have done as well."

After the war all the spite of the Radical Republicans was vented on Davis, who was arrested in Georgia and imprisoned at Fortress Monroe. When they placed him in irons it took four men to hold him down. He was indicted for treason but never brought to trial, as the yankee government knew they could never convict him since secession was both legal and constitutional. Only after two years was he released. He died in 1889.

Jefferson Davis was one of the most gifted and remarkable men North America has ever produced, and one of the most thoroughly Christian. I heartily recommend Felicity Allen's biography, Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart. It is the spellbinding story of a great and noble hero.


  1. Don't have to go to the library for this one - a lot is posted on-line. :0)

    1. These days you should be able to find a huge amount.