Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) was an American politician, president of the short-lived Confederate States of America 1861-1865.
He was a leader of the Southern Democrats in the US Senate from 1857, and a defender of 'humane' slavery; in 1860 he issued a declaration in favour of secession from the USA.
During the Civil War he assumed strong political leadership, but often disagreed with military policy. He was imprisoned for two years after the war, one of the very few cases of judicial retribution against Confederate leaders.
Born in Kentucky, he served in the US army before becoming a cotton planter in Mississippi. He sat in the US Senate 1847-1851, was secretary of war 1853-1857, and returned to the Senate in 1857.
Why is Jefferson Davis famous?
Jefferson Davis was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.