Jefferson Finis Davis
Burial Location Visited
Richmond, Virginia July 13, 2005


Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond                                              Following his death in 1889, Davis was
not only houses the remains of                                                  interred in a New Orleans cemetery. Some
two American presidents, but the                                               time after, his remains were relocated to
only Confederate one as well.                                                    Richmond.


Varina Howell, Jefferson Davis'                                                                  Davis is not the only famous
second wife, is buried by his side.                                                              Confederate buried in the
                                                                                                             Hollywood Cemetery. Generals
                                                                                                             George Pickett and "Jeb" Stuart
                                                                                                             are interred there as well.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* The story of the first and only president of the Confederacy began with his birth on June 3, 1808 in what is now Fairview, Kentucky. He was the tenth and youngest child born to Samuel and Jane Davis, who relocated their family to Louisiana in 1811 and to the neighboring state of Mississippi the following year. Having received some schooling in his youth, Davis later attended Washington, Mississippi's Jefferson College. He would soon transfer to Transylvania University, and would eventually end up at West Point. He graduated from the academy in 1828 with the rank of second lieutenant and served in the Black Hawk War, which took place in 1832. Davis served under Col. Zachary Taylor, who would win the presidential election of 1848 for his heroics as a general during the Mexican-American War. Davis became infatuated with the colonel's daughter, Sarah Knox Taylor, much to the dismay of her father, who was against Sarah living the life of an army wife. Lt. Davis resigned his commission and married his beloved on June 17, 1835. Their marriage was not destined to last, however, as Sarah succumbed to malaria three months later.

* On March 4, 1845, Davis took office as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the state of Mississippi. That same year, he wed Varina Davis, with whom he would have six children. Little over a year later, Congressman Davis left office in order to serve in the Mexican-American War. Commissioned a colonel, Davis fought in the conflict's most notable battle, the Battle of Buena Vista, where he was injured. Following the war's end, Davis served in the U.S. Senate. That body appointed him to the Committee on Veteran Affairs, and he served as its chairman until 1851, when he resigned from the Senate to focus on his bid for the governorship of Mississippi. Davis remained without a position in the government until 1853, when Franklin Pierce, who was grateful for the campaigning Davis had done for him, appointed the Southerner secretary of war. He held that position until Pierce's term expired in 1857, after which he returned to the Senate.

* For decade's, the debate about slavery in America had been a hot one, and its intensity increased immensely in the 1850's. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska act, which allowed for citizens of those two territories to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery, was a particularly sore topic at this time. Some states were contemplating secession, something that Senator Davis was firmly against, as long as there existed another peaceful option. However, Davis did believe that states did have the right to secede if they so desired. Northerner Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president on November 6, 1860, which pushed the southern states to the brink. The Palmetto State, South Carolina, seceded from the United States the following month, and six more states left the Union by February 1st. Among those states was Mississippi, which Davis had been representing in the Senate. Choosing to remain loyal to Mississippi, Davis delivered a farewell address to the Senate and resigned from that body for a final time.

* In February of 1861, Jefferson Davis was made the president of the newly founded Confederate States of America. President Davis quickly assembled a committee whose sole purpose was to negotiate with the United States and avoid war. The attempt was a failure, and the American Civil War began on April 12, 1861 with the bombardment by Confederate troops of Fort Sumter. Eventually, five more states would join the Confederacy, putting its total number of states at eleven. In a war that lasted four bloody years, the CSA proved to be the underdog throughout its duration. The economy in the South was not as well-off as it was in the North, which meant the Confederates had less money for supplies and ammunition. Although the Confederacy's army was led by generals such as Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and the iconic Robert E. Lee, Davis had them fight on the defensive rather than the offensive, which was one of several factors that led to the CSA's eventual undoing.

* As General Ulysses S. Grant and his men were preparing to overtake Richmond, Virginia, the capitol of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis and his cabinet fled the city in early April of 1865. First going to Danville, Virginia, Davis then traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina. He met with his cabinet one last time on May 5th in Washington, Georgia and was captured five days later in Irwinville. Within two weeks, Davis had been placed in a cell at Fort Monroe, located in Hampton, Virginia, where he would spend the next two years of his life. Eventually, future presidential candidate Horace Greeley and other prominent citizens raised enough money to bail out Davis. Though he never held office again, Davis wrote a book, titled The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. He passed away due to an unknown cause on December 6, 1889 in New Orleans.

First Lady: Varina Ann Banks Howell Davis
         - Spouse: Sarah Knox Taylor Davis (1814-1835)
                         Varina Howell Davis (1826-1906)

Political Party:
Democratic Party

Vice President:
Alexander Stephens

Last Words:
"Pray excuse me. I cannot take it."
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