Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen
E-Mail: bergen.anthony@gmail.com
Who is Jefferson Davis?
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

I sure have been getting a lot of questions lately that could easily be answered via Google or Wikipedia.  Since I am a kind, helpful gentleman, I’ll answer it, though. 

Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War — elected as provisional President for the first year by the provisional Confederate Congress.  In November 1861, the people of the Confederacy elected Davis as their President.  He ran unopposed and carried the electoral votes of all 11 Confederate states.  The Confederate Presidency, like the Confederate Constitution, was largely modeled after the U.S. version.  In the Confederacy, however, the President was limited to one, six-year term, so if the Confederacy had survived, Davis’s Presidency would have ended in February 1868.

As the war came to a close in April 1865, Davis and his family joined other top rebels and fled south, hoping to get out of the country instead of facing arrest and possible treason charges, which could have resulted in his execution.  President Lincoln and General Grant actually hoped that Davis would make it out of the country so that the nation could work on healing rather than punishing Southern leaders.  Unfortunately, Lincoln was assassinated and Andrew Johnson had no sympathy for Davis or top Confederate officials. 

Some Confederate leaders did escape to Cuba, Mexico, Canada, and Europe, but Davis was captured by federal troops in May 1865 and imprisoned in harsh conditions in Virginia for two years as federal authorities decided what to do with him.  He was charged with treason, but many were calling for his release, including Northern leaders and even abolitionists who had violently opposed Davis and the Southern slave states.  Many of them helped contribute to a $100,000 bond which secured Davis’s release.  Charges were eventually dropped and Davis lived until 1889.

  1. finchiekinstheowl said: It’s a lot better coming from you than from Google or Wikipedia.
  2. deadpresidents posted this