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The president of the Confederacy: the fourth of seven scenes from the life of Jefferson Davis—his widow pronounced this the only war-time photograph The trials of the Presidency were particularly severe to one of Davis's delicately balanced temperament. According to Mrs. Davis, ‘he was abnormally sensitive to disapprobation; even a child's disapproval discomposed him.’ She relates that one day, during the second year of the war, ‘he came home, about seven o'clock, from his office, staggered up to a sofa in his little private office and lay down. He declined dinner, and I remained by his side, anxious and afraid to ask what was the trouble which so oppressed him. In an hour or two he told me that the weight of responsibility oppressed him so that he felt he would give all his limbs to have some one with whom he could share it.’ But she adds in a later chapter, ‘As hope died out in the breasts of the rank and file of the Confederate army, the President's courage rose, and he was fertile in expedients to supply deficiencies, and calm in the contemplation of the destruction of his dearest hopes, and the violent death he expected to be his.’ In all his trials his wife was an unfailingly sympathetic companion.


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Jefferson Davis (3)
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