Jefferson Davis: Slavery and the Death of States' Rights | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Jefferson Davis: Slavery and the Death of States' Rights

When one thinks of the Confederate States of America, one instantly thinks of two people, General Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis. The life of both bear close examination for their historical significance and because they were men of principle and conviction who stood up for what they believed in – what they believed isn’t precisely what is taught in schools. Jefferson Davis in his role as the Confederate President is a sort of avatar for the end of a certain view of states’ rights that died when General Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

Who Was Jefferson Davis?

For a variety of historically complicated reasons, General Robert E. Lee became a far bigger symbol of the Confederacy after its demise than President Davis. Named after then-President Thomas Jefferson, Davis was born in 1808 less than 100 miles from where President Lincoln was born eight months later. Of Welsh stock, Davis was unsurprisingly born to a patrician planter family of Kentucky. His family moved to Louisiana and then to Mississippi, the state that Davis would represent in Congress for several years.

The youngest of ten children, Davis’s eldest sibling was a brother 23 years his senior. His father passed away when he was 16 years old. As a child, he attended the prestigious Saint Thomas at St. Rose Priory school where he was the lone Protestant student. He later attended West Point, where he was largely undistinguished. Considering the caliber of young men who attend West Point, this is no sleight against him, and he graduated 23 out of 33 in his class.