04.24.2014  |   | Subscribe  | Contact us

EDUCATION

Leaders

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis
More pictures of Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis was born in Kentucky in 1808 and grew up in the state of Mississippi. He attended West Point and became a hero during the Mexican War.

Davis became the U.S. Secretary of War during Pierce's presidency and a senator from his home state of Mississippi. When the southern states seceded, Davis left the Senate, and he was chosen to be the first President of the Confederacy. He was inaugurated in Montgomery, Alabama, the first Confederate capital, on February 18, 1861. He swore to uphold the idea of states' rights and not interfere with slave owners. The confederate capital was later moved to Richmond, Virginia.

Jefferson Davis had a difficult time as the head of the Confederate States of America. Since the people under his control believed in states' rights, they were, at times, uncooperative with their commander-in-chief.

However, with the choice of strong military leaders and a promising defensive strategy, the Confederacy was able to last for four years.

When Richmond fell in 1865, Jefferson Davis escaped, but was later captured. Union soldiers seized Davis in Georgia on May 10, 1865.

He was arrested and sent to jail for two years. Jefferson Davis died in 1889.

Back | Next

The story

1. A Nation Divided

2. Events and Battles

3. Leaders

4. Daily Life

5. Aftermath


Activities

North or South?

Match the abolitionist

What would you do?

Name that leader

Study the artifact

Be a columnist

Interactive map


Help

SOL Civil War key word index

Glossary