m. 17 Jun 1835
Facts and Events
Jefferson Davis graduated from West Point and spent six years as an army officer. He married the daughter of his commander (and future U.S. President) Zachary Taylor, Sarah Knox Taylor, in 1835, but she died shortly after the wedding. After a substantial period of seclusion at his estate in Mississippi, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1844. When the Mexican-American War began, he resigned and raised a volunteer regiment to fight in Texas.
Upon return to Mississippi, he was appointed to finish out a senate term, and won the election for the seat, but he resigned shortly thereafter to unsuccessfully run for governor of Mississippi. When Franklin Pierce won the presidency in 1852, he appointed Davis Secretary of War. When Pierce was not nominated in 1856, Davis ran for the senate again and won. This time his term was interrupted by the secession of Mississippi from the Union on January 9, 1861. Davis opposed secession, but he firmly believed in states' rights to do so, so he resigned his seat and returned to Mississippi.
Within six weeks, he was commissioned a Major General in the Confederate Army and named provisional President of the Confederacy. He was elected to a six-year term in November 1861, but never completed the term, as the South surrendered and he was imprisoned for treason in 1865. He was released on bond several years later, and the case was dropped in 1869. In retirement, he wrote two books about the Confederacy.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Jefferson Davis.