|The future president of the Confederacy, with his wife: the first of seven scenes from the life of Jefferson Davis This picture, made from an old daguerreotype, forms as true a document of Jefferson Davis' human side as his letter concerning Grant on page 290. Davis was born in Kentucky the year before Lincoln. His college education began in that State. In 1842 he entered West Point. Army service proved his ability to command. In the Mexican War he won distinction as colonel of the First Mississippi Volunteers by the famous ‘reenteringg angle’ at Buena Vista. As Senator from Mississippi and Secretary of War under President Pierce, he became the accepted leader of the Southern party in their insistence on the doctrine of States' rights. His unanimous election as President of the Confederacy on February 8, 1861, by the Congress at Montgomery, Alabama, was unsought. When the permanent government was established in 1862, he entered without opposition upon the six years term. When the stress of war turned his administration into a virtual dictatorship, he wielded enormous powers with the utmost fidelity. His military training and experience had instilled him with such confidence in his military capacity that he maintained to the end a close control over all his generals. His wife, who possessed all the charm of Southern womanhood, has left an account of her husband that forms one of the most intimate and winning biographies written by an American author.|
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