|Term of office|
February 18, 1861 - May 5, 1865
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Vice President||Alexander Stephens (1861-1865)|
|Preceded by||none; appointed to office by secessionist legislature|
|Succeeded by||none; office abolished with end of the Confederacy|
|Born|| June 3, 1808 |
Christian County, Kentucky
|Died|| December 6, 1889 (aged 81) |
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Spouse|| Sarah Knox Taylor|
Davis was born in Kentucky on or around June 3, 1808 (actual date not certain) into a military family, his father having served in the Revolutionary War. In 1835 he married Sarah Knox Taylor, the daughter of President Zachary Taylor. Sarah died of malaria three months after their wedding. He married Varina Howell in 1845; they had six children, three of whom reach adulthood. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy. He served in the military from 1831 until 1835 when he resigned and settled in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Jefferson Davis is best known as the only president of the Confederate States of America. Davis did not get involved in politics until 1843 at the age of 35. He was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1845 and resigned in 1846 to re-enter the army during the Mexican War. He continued in this service until 1847 when he was appointed by the governor of Mississippi to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate. From February 1864 till the war was over in 1865, Jefferson and Varina adopted Jim Limber, a biracial boy.
His reputation has been mostly negative, he was called a weak leader and caused the downfall of the Confederacy compared to the Union having skilled generals such as Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman.
- The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, by Jefferson Davis; ebook downloadable from Project Gutenburg