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What was wrong with J. Davis? - Jefferson Davis - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Mon Dec 23rd, 2013 01:41 pm
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javal1
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Hi folks. Was Reading Jeff Davis' farewell to the US Senate when one statement got me curious. he said...

The occasion does not invite me to go into argument; and my physical condition would not permit me to do so, if it were otherwise; and yet it seems to become me to say something on the part of the State I here represent on an occasion as solemn as this.

Anyone know what his physical problem was?



 Posted: Mon Dec 23rd, 2013 08:16 pm
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Texas Defender
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javal1-

I believe that Mr. Davis is referring to the chronic problem that he had with his eye, which is discussed on another Jefferson Davis thread.

The eye caused him considerable pain and discomfort throughout much of his life. (He also had recurring bouts of malaria). He once said that he did not know why the eye had not burst.

I have read that he had surgery on the eye in 1860, so its most likely that the eye was again his problem in 1861.

Last edited on Mon Dec 23rd, 2013 08:18 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Mon Dec 23rd, 2013 09:45 pm
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Hellcat
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I as cadet at West Point his broke his arm. But TD's answer makes more sense. I mean unless it healed in such a way to be even more sensitive to the weather changes than I'd expect (I love approaching storms, usually feel 'em in my wrists) I doubt it would have caused him that much of a problem. Maybe I'm wrong.



 Posted: Mon Dec 23rd, 2013 10:02 pm
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Hellcat
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Ok, scratch the broken arm, found what I was thinking about It's from Douglas Lee Gibboney's Scandals of the Civil War on page eight



One might imagine that would hae ended Cadet Davis's sub rosa revelries at Benny Havens---but one would be wrong. The following year, Davis and another student were back at the barroom when word came that a West Point professor was on his way in. The two students raced out a back trail toward the academy but Davis tripped and tumbled down a sixty-foot embakment. He suffered serious injuries and spent most of the next four months recovering at the post hospital. Somehow though, he managed to again avoid prosecution for being at Benny's.

These were the injuries I was thinking about. Page 9 has another injury worth noting:

In the winter of 1838, yet another booze-tinged adventure nearly killed Davis. He was then in Washington, making contacts to possibly restart his military career after becoming bored with life on his Mississippi plantation. One evening he attended a reception given by the secretary of war which was followed by a post-midnight champagne supper. Afterward Ohio Senator William Allen led Davis back to his boarding house, walking through the dark streets of the capital. Allen however had drunk too freely of the champagne and stumbled off a bridge into Tiber Creek. Jefferson Davis followed right behind him, a plunge that nearly proved fatal when Davis' head struck a rock. Allen, drunkenly reciting a campaign speech, pulled Davis to safety and managed to get him back to his quarters. The next morning, Davis was unconscious, and it took several hours for the doctors to revive him.



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