Jefferson Finis Davis was an American politician born on June 3, 1808. During his political career — which began in 1825 — Davis held numerous positions. His most recent position was as President of the Confederate States of America. He was a well-known politician and leader whose dedication to the country earned him immortality. He was an army veteran, and battle hero all rolled into one. Today is Davis’ birthday, and he is being honored.
Jefferson Finis Davis
June 3, 1808
December 6, 1889 (age 81)
Jefferson Finis Davis was a renowned American politician that will always be in the history books. He was born on June 3, 1808, in Fairview, Kentucky to a moderately prosperous farmer — the youngest of 10 children. Davis was a Gemini and of English descent. His family moved to Wilkinson County in Mississippi from Louisiana, and he was schooled at the Wilkinson Academy.
When Davis was 16, his father died, and his elder brother, Joseph, arranged for him to attend the U.S. Military Academy. He began his studies at the academy in 1824 and graduated in 1828. He was stationed at Fort Crawford in the Michigan Territory of Prairie du Chien. He returned to Mississippi on furlough in March 1832. Davis was a colonel under his first father-in-law, General Zachary Taylor, during the Mexican-American War in 1846. He took part in the Battle of Monterrey in September 1846 and the Battle of Buena Vista in 1847 — during which he was shot in the foot.
Following his success in service, Davis was appointed a U.S. Senator. He was a Democrat and assumed this office in December 1847. The Senate appointed Davis to the Committee on Military Affairs in December 1849. The Mississippi legislature elected Senator Davis to a six-year term. He resigned from this job a few months later — intending to run for Governor of Mississippi. Davis lost the election by 999 votes and resumed his political career without holding a position. After Franklin Pierce was elected president in 1853, he appointed Davis ‘Secretary of War.’ While in this post, Davis facilitated the “Gadsden Purchase” of southern Arizona from Mexico. Davis boosted army morale by introducing the general use of weapons he employed during the Mexican-American War, in addition to other effective mandates.
After his U.S. Senate resignation, Davis was inaugurated as provisional President of the Confederate States in February 1861. He was appointed general P.G.T. Beauregard and had the liberty to command all Confederate troops in Charleston, South Carolina. Davis was a great politician, but he had his weaknesses, some of which included reluctance to delegate responsibility, favoritism towards friends, inability to work with those who disagreed with him, and several more. Davis was married twice — first, to Sarah Knox Taylor, who died of malaria in 1835, a few months into the marriage, and second to Varina Banks Howell in 1845, who bore him six children — only two of these children survived.
Davis is appointed a U.S. Senator.
The Senate appoints Davis as a chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs.
President Franklin Pierce gives Davis this position.
After South Carolina and Mississippi adopt the ordinance of secession, Davis delivers a farewell address and resigns from the U.S. Senate.
Davis is captured and imprisoned in Hampton, Virginia.
Why We Love Jefferson Davis
He was a good leader
Davis was a charismatic leader who instigated many laws in Confederate America. He was a great leader.
He was a good father
Although four of his children died, Davis was a great father to his children. He was deeply affected by their demise.
He served his country
Davis served his country in many wars. He was a fearless soldier.
5 Surprising Facts
He had nine siblings
Davis was the youngest of 10 children.
He was named after Thomas Jefferson
When Davis was born, Jefferson was the incumbent President, and he was named after him.
His eldest brother was 23 years older
Davis’ brother, Joseph, was his senior by 23 years.
He was arrested
Davis got arrested, imprisoned, and accused of treason.
The Eggnog Riot
Davis was arrested for participating in the “Eggnog Rio,” a yuletide drinking party.
Jefferson Davis FAQs
What happened to Jefferson after the Civil Ware?
He was captured, arrested, and accused of treason.
What political party was Jefferson Davis?
He was part of the Democratic Party
What were the Confederate States fighting for?
The conflict between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America stemmed from differences over the institution of slavery.
Jefferson Davis’s birthday dates