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 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2013 11:37 pm
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Texas Defender
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Johan Steele-

  I disagree completely with your assessment of Mr. Davis and his history, with the exception of the part about being too trusting of personal favorites ("Cronyism" if you will). Perhaps you should read the biography of Mr. Davis linked to in my posting above.

  Dr. Cooper's book, which I have just procured, does not support your contentions about Mr. Davis. He entered politics in 1840, when he attended a Democratic meeting in Vicksburg. As late as 1838, he had been exploring the possibility of reviving his career as an Army officer.(He was on active duty from 1828 to 1835). He hardly envisioned himself as President of the US, nor did he even imagine a future CSA. He did not favor disunion.

  In 1860, Mr. Davis was concerned that Mr. Douglas would destroy the Democratic party. He attempted to persuade ex-President Franklin Pierce to seek the nomination in order to save the party. In the end, the Democrats did split their party and hand the presidency to Mr. Lincoln. Mr. Davis resigned from the US Senate on 21 January 1861, a date that he later described as: "The saddest day of my life."

  Mr. Davis did expect the Provisional CSA Congress to offer him an appointment, military or civilian. But there is no indication that he KNEW that he would be chosen to be CSA President (It is true that he did not take steps to remove his name from consideration).

  On 09 February 1861 in Montgomery, AL, Jefferson Davis was the choice of the delegates to be CSA President. A telegraph message was sent to Mississippi. Reading from Page 352 of Dr. Cooper's book:

  "From Vicksburg a messenger was immediately dispatched to Davis Bend, arriving late in the afternoon of February 9. He found Davis in the garden at Brierfield assisting Varina with rose cuttings. Upon reading the telegram, Davis: "Looked so grieved" that, his wife later remembered, she feared some family calamity. She recorded that,"After a few minutes' painful silence," her husband shared the news "as a man might speak of a sentence of death." According to Varina, he neither wanted nor expected the presidency. Years afterward Davis repeated that he never desired the position; later he even claimed he thought he had helped arrangements in favor of Howell Cobb."

  You can believe Mr. and Mrs. Davis or not, as you wish. But I have never seen any evidence that Mr. Davis wanted to be CSA President, or knew that he would be selected. Feel free to submit any evidence you might have to substantiate your statements.

  Mr. Davis had his share of human flaws, just as Mr. Lincoln did. You can have your opinions and villify him if you wish to. No politician will ever be universally loved. As discussed on another thread in this forum, he qualifies as a : "Polarizing figure," just as Mr. Lincoln does.

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Last edited on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 12:53 am by Texas Defender

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