The Papers of Jefferson Davis

May Seaton Dix, Associate Editor Richard E. Beringer, Visiting CoeditorIn Volume 4 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis, which covers the years 1849 to 1852, Davis had clearly chosen politics ar his life's work.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

May Seaton Dix, Associate Editor Richard E. Beringer, Visiting CoeditorIn Volume 4 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis, which covers the years 1849 to 1852, Davis had clearly chosen politics ar his life's work. He relished in his role as Mississippi's senior senator and willingly assumed the responsibility of being a national spokesman for the South. This period also saw a number of events in Davis' personal life, notably the birth of his first child and the beginning of a long estrangement from his brother Joseph.In January, 1849, Davis signed the Southern Address, although he occasionally disagreed with the extreme positions of its author, John C. Calhoun. Outside the Senate, Davis supported the objectives of the Nashville Convention and, later, the idea of a southern congress. During the crisis of 1850 Davis spoke often on such key issues as the regulation of slavery in the territories, the extension of the Missouri Compromise line, the admission of California, the Texas-New Mexico boundary, the continuation of the slave trade in the District of Columbia, and the Fugitive Slave Act. In 1851 he proposed purchasing camels for military transportation and urged that a Pacific railroad route be considered in the definition of the Mexican boundary.As a loyal Democrat, Davis had supported Lewis Cass in 1848, but he was a conspicuous personal favorite of Zachary Taylor, the new Whig president and his former father-in-law. In 1850 Taylor reportedly intervened to prevent a duel between Illinois representative William H. Bissell and Davis, who was incensed by Bissell's remarks about the Mississippi regiment at Buena Vista. Soon after joining the Taylor family at the president's deathbed in July, 1850, Davis defended Taylor's Mexican War performance in well-publicized Senate speech. Between sessions in 1849 Davis canvassed Mississippi, addressing gatherings throughout the state in favor of congressional candidates. He warned of northern aggressions, yet urged the exhaustion of all means of peaceful resistance before secession be considered. When he returned home after the arduous 1850 session, he defended his course, denying charges that he was a disunionist.In February, 1850, Davis had been reelected to the Senate for a full six-year term, but in September, 1851, he resigned to accept the Sate Rights nomination for governor in opposition to Union nominee Henry Foote. Although illness precluded much active campaigning in the few weeks before the election, Davis substantially reduced the Union lead and lost by a narrow margin. A private citizen for the first time since 1845, Davis continued his involvement in politics. Despite nagging personal problems and ill health, he promoted Democratic unity and took to the stump for Franklin Pierce in 1852.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Volume 6 includes 116 letters printed in full with annotation, a calendar of over 6,000 items, and summaries of 53 recently discovered documents dating from 1845 through 1855, as well as illustrations and maps prepared especially for the ...

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Volume 6 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis, spanning the five crucial years before 1861, chronicles Davis’ last year as secretary of war and his return to the Senate, capstone of his long career of public service to the United States. Volume 6 includes 116 letters printed in full with annotation, a calendar of over 6,000 items, and summaries of 53 recently discovered documents dating from 1845 through 1855, as well as illustrations and maps prepared especially for the volume. Davis’ correspondence and his final report to Franklin Pierce mirror the concerns of his last months as head of the War Department—turmoil in Kansas, protection of western settlements, construction of the Washington Aqueduct, the Capitol extension and new dome, surveys for the Pacific Railroad, Indian relations, the camel experiment, army reorganization, and advances in weaponry. All these issues followed Davis to the Senate in March, 1857, but other questions soon claimed equal attention. As debates on abolition, state rights, fugitive slaves, and slavery in the territories became more frequent and more divisive, Davis found himself a major spokesman for his region. He was caught up in the momentous events testing the nation during James Buchanan’s administration: “bleeding Kansas,” Preston Brook’s attack on Charles Sumner, John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, the 1860 Democratic conventions, the election of a Republican president, and the secession of South Carolina. He debated at length with Stephen A. Douglas and others over “squatter sovereignty” and offered his own resolutions on the relations of states as the basis for the Democratic platform in 1860. Personal correspondence gives revealing word pictures of Varina Davis and the children, the family’s sojourn in New England during the Summer of 1858, disastrous flooding at Brierfield in 1859, and Davis’ persistent, debilitating illnesses. Volume 6 covers fateful years for the nation and for Jefferson Davis, a man moving toward a destiny that he is both creating and hoping to avoid.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

The eleventh volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows these tumultuous last months of the Confederacy and illuminates Davis’s policies, feelings, ideas, and relationships, as well as the viewpoints of hundreds of ...

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

During the last nine months of the Civil War, virtually all of the news reports and President Jefferson Davis’s correspondence confirmed the imminent demise of the Confederate States, the nation Davis had striven to uphold since 1861. But despite defeat after defeat on the battlefield, a recalcitrant Congress, nay-sayers in the press, disastrous financial conditions, failures in foreign policy and peace efforts, and plummeting national morale, Davis remained in office and tried to maintain the government—even after the fall of Richmond on April 2—until his capture by Union forces on May 10, 1865. The eleventh volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows these tumultuous last months of the Confederacy and illuminates Davis’s policies, feelings, ideas, and relationships, as well as the viewpoints of hundreds of southerners—critics and supporters—who asked favors, pointed out abuses, and offered advice on myriad topics. Printed here for the first time are many speeches and a number of new letters and telegrams. In the course of the volume, Robert E. Lee officially becomes general in chief, Joseph E. Johnston is given a final command, legislation is enacted to place slaves in the army as soldiers, and peace negotiations are opened at the highest levels. The closing pages chronicle Davis’s dramatic flight from Richmond, including emotional correspondence with his wife as the two endeavor to find each other en route and make plans for the future in the wreckage of their lives. The holdings of seventy different manuscript repositories and private collections in addition to numerous published sources contribute to Volume 11, the fifth in the Civil War period.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Much of Jefferson Davis life and career has been obscured in controversy and misinterpretation.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Much of Jefferson Davis life and career has been obscured in controversy and misinterpretation. This full, carefully annotated edition will make it possible for scholars to reassess the man who served as President of the Confederacy and who in the aftermath of war became the symbolic leader of the South. -- Publisher.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

The first item in this volume is a speech as he prepares to leave on a riverboat to serve in the Mexican War.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Lynda L. Crist, Associate Editor Mary S. Dix, Assistant Editor At the end of Volume 2 Jefferson Davis had left Congress to become a colonel in the First Mississippi Regiment. The first item in this volume is a speech as he prepares to leave on a riverboat to serve in the Mexican War. The years 1846 through 1848 see Davis play a conspicuous role in the war and in the subsequent political clashes and controversies over slavery. Volume 3 details Davis' first experience in battle as an officer of a regiment as well as his initial term as a U.S. senator. He received both praise and criticism for his leadership in Mexico. In 1847 he returned to Mississippi a wounded hero of national fame, refused a brigadier generalship, and took his place in the U.S. Senate. There are several items of correspondence with Zachary Taylor that shed light on Taylor's attitude toward the proposed nomination that would lead to his election as president in 1848. Davis' first wife was Taylor's daughter; and in spite of political and family differences the two men maintained a close friendship. In a major speech in July, 1848, Davis protested the formal prohibition of slavery from the Oregon Territory; he then voted for the Senate's compromise bill on Oregon. Volume 3 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis includes letters to and from Davis, his speeches in chronological order, and other documents, further illuminating Davis' character, opinions, philosophy, and personal relationships as well as continuing the development of his military career.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Volume 8 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis brings the Confederate president to the second year of the War Between the States and shows that during 1862 Davis was almost completely overwhelmed by military matters.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Volume 8 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis brings the Confederate president to the second year of the War Between the States and shows that during 1862 Davis was almost completely overwhelmed by military matters. Indeed, early that year, in an address to the Confederate Congress, he admitted that in trying to defend every part of its far-flung territory, the “Government had attempted more than it had power successfully to achieve.” During 1862, Judah P. Benjamin was replaced as secretary of war by George W. Randolph, who was then succeeded by James A. Seddon. As the year advanced, Davis’ relationships with certain key generals continued to sour. Chief among them were P.G.T. Beauregard, who was finally removed from his last significant command, and Joseph E. Johnston, whose fall from grace precipitated Robert E. Lee’s rise to influence as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee proved to be as adept in communicating and coordinating plans with the president as Johnston had been inept. At the inconclusive Battle of Shiloh, Davis lost Albert Sidney Johnston, a trusted friend and the general he had most admired. Like Shiloh, many other campaigns of 1862 ended in stalemate and withdrawal, including Henry H. Sibley’s New Mexico campaign, Braxton Bragg’s Kentucky campaign, Earl Van Dorn’s battle at Elkhorn Tavern, and the Confederacy’s greatest gamble—Lee’s Invasion of Maryland. Correspondence with Davis’ brother, Joseph E. Davis, reveals the ever-worsening situation in Mississippi. The Federal occupation of New Orleans, the fall of new Madrid and Island No. 10, and Grants repeated attempts to capture Vicksburg heightened anxiety about the area and persuaded the president to tour the western theater in December. Because the Union’s springtime invasion of Richmond prompted Davis to send his wife and children away, Volume 8 contains an unusually rich collection of letters exchanged during their separation. This correspondence offers a rare glimpse into the minds and hearts of Davis and his wife. Altogether, more than 2,000 documents, many never before published, are included in Volume 8; 133 are printed in full. Culled from fifty-nine repositories, twenty-one private collections, and numerous printed sources, they reveal that despite the many setbacks he suffered in 1862, Davis maintained a deep devotion to duty and an unbending will to win.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Although Davis suffered poor health during much of the nine-month period, he remained an active and vital leader. Volume 9 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis gives a vivid picture of the tasks he faced.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

“The New Year . . . comes in auspiciously for us,” Jefferson Davis proclaimed in January, 1863, and indeed there were grounds for optimism within the Confederacy. By September, however, various hopes for ending the conflict with the North had given way to the harsh realities of a prolonged war, increasingly confined to southern soil. Although Davis suffered poor health during much of the nine-month period, he remained an active and vital leader. Volume 9 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis gives a vivid picture of the tasks he faced. Military matters consumed most of Davis’ time. Already strained relations with Joseph E. Johnston worsened in the spring, and he was eventually relieved of his overall command of the western armies. Surrenders at Vicksburg and Port Hudson ended Confederate access to the Mississippi River, and in the East, Robert E. Lee’s stunning victory at Chancellorsville was blotted out by bloody repulse south of Gettysburg. Correspondence from Europe reveals what Davis knew of the Erlanger loan and the diminishing chances of French and British intervention. As problems for the Confederacy mounted, discontent grew. Davis received complaints from across the young country, the conscription system being of particular concern. In April he saw firsthand the unhappiness over limited resources as he took to the streets to help calm the Richmond bread riot. Over 2,000 documents, many never before published, are included in Volume 9. Eighty-one are printed with annotation, 242 more in full text, and about 1,750 others are calendared in summary form. They show Davis fighting to maintain morale and military cohesion during one of the Confederacy’s most difficult periods.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Mary Seaton Dix, Associate Editor The fifth volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis presents 9,000 of the approximately 21,000 known Davis letters, papers, and speeches from the years 1853 through 1855, when Davis served as secretary of war ...

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Mary Seaton Dix, Associate Editor The fifth volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis presents 9,000 of the approximately 21,000 known Davis letters, papers, and speeches from the years 1853 through 1855, when Davis served as secretary of war under President Franklin Pierce. Most of the documents are included in summary form in an extensive calendar; 93 are published in full with annotation.Well prepared for the War Department position by his military education and experience, Davis was already known as a champion of the army and West Point from his years in Congress. As secretary, Davis administered a department of eight bureaus and a military establishment spread thinly from coast to coast. An increase and reorganization of the army along with the establishment of new posts became top priorities as a tide of settlers encroached in Indian lands in the Mexican cession and Far West. Davis also supervised army engineering projects as varied as the Capitol extension, military roads, and river and harbor improvements. The curriculum of the Military Academy, new weapons and armaments development, the activities of the Crimea commission, the Pacific railroad surveys, and the camel expedition -- all commanded his minute attention.Despite the burdens of office, Davis maintained a lively interest in the issues of the day, among them Latin American filibustering, the purchase of Cuba, states' rights, slavery, and the conflict in Kansas. The wide attention accorded his travels and speeches brought national prominence to him and speculation about his future candidacy for governor, a return to the Senate, the vice-presidency, and even the presidency. Personal correspondence includes letters that touch on Davis' long estrangement from his brother, the death of his first child, persistent health problems, and relationships with friends and family. Much of hiss official correspondence, especially several angry exchanges with army officers, reveals even more about Davis' personality. In addition to the documents published in full and calendared, an appendix includes over one hundred recently discovered personal and political items dates from 1838 through 1852, before Davis' selection as secretary of war.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Victory at Manassas produced euphoria among southerners but plunged the president into the first of several unfortunate controversies with his generals, this one over the failure to pursue the enemy and capitalize on success.Throughout 1861 ...

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Lynda Lasswell Crist, Editor Mary Seaton Dix, Coeditor Introduction by Frank E. VandiverVolume 7 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis offers a unique view of 1861, the first year of the Confederacy, Davis' presidency, and the Civil War.On January 21 Davis made his affecting farewell speech before a hushed Senate, then left for Mississippi. His uncertainty over a military or political course vanished when he received news of his unanimous election as president of the Confederate States of America. Inaugurated at Montgomery, Alabama, on February 18, Davis quickly set to work to forge a government, in a race with events to select a cabinet, establish departments, and plan for the common defense.Hopes for a peaceful separation from the North ended with the firing on Fort Sumter; subsequent documents reveal a president absorbed by the problems of waging a war that soon stretched from the Atlantic Coast to the Gulf of Mexico. Victory at Manassas produced euphoria among southerners but plunged the president into the first of several unfortunate controversies with his generals, this one over the failure to pursue the enemy and capitalize on success.Throughout 1861 the Confederate commissioners in Europe reported to Davis on their expectations of recognition, convinced that the demand for cotton would induce Great Britain and France to break the North's blockade of southern ports and help supply arms for the defense of the fledgling nation.Volume 7 provides a rare opportunity to assess anew Davis' strengths and weaknesses as executive, to reexamine his relationship with generals, governors, congressmen, cabinet officers, the press, and the public. Davis ended the year as he begun, aware of the difficulties of the course the South had adopted and confident that its cause would ultimately triumph. Containing illustrations, maps, and more than 2,500 documents drawn from numerous printed sources and more than seventy repositories and private collections, Volume 7 covers a year of paramount importance in our country's history.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

The final volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy through the completion of his two monumental works on the history of the Confederate States of America.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

The final volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy through the completion of his two monumental works on the history of the Confederate States of America. In the first, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881), Davis sought to recast the Confederacy as a just and moral nation that was constitutionally correct in standing up for its rights. Himself the subject of heated debates about why the Confederacy lost, Davis also used the book to castigate Confederate government and military officials who he believed had failed the cause. Later, A Short History of the Confederate States (1890) attempted to burnish the image of the former Confederacy and to refute accusations of intentional mistreatment of Union prisoners. While completing these books, Davis attended and spoke at numerous Confederate memorial services and monument dedications, all the while waging a bitter feud with two of his former top generals-Joseph E. Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard-over the reasons for the fall of the Confederacy. In late 1889, having returned to New Orleans from a trip to his plantation, Brierfield, Davis succumbed to pneumonia. His funeral procession attracted an estimated 150,000 mourners, a testament to the lasting popularity of the Confederacy's only president. In volume 14 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis, the editors have drawn from over one hundred manuscript repositories and private collections, in addition to numerous published sources, to offer a compelling portrait of Davis over the last decade of his life.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Volume 12 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy as he and his family fight to find their place in the world after the Civil War.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

"Being powerless to direct the current, I can only wait to see whither it runs," wrote Jefferson Davis to his wife, Varina, on October 11, 1865, five months after the victorious United States Army took him prisoner. Indeed, in the tumultuous years immediately after the Civil War, Davis found himself more acted upon than active, a dramatic change from his previous twenty years of public service to the United States as a major political figure and then to the Confederacy as its president and commander in chief. Volume 12 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy as he and his family fight to find their place in the world after the Civil War. A federal prisoner, incarcerated in a "living tomb" at Fort Monroe while the government decided whether, where, and by whom he should be tried for treason, Davis was initially allowed to correspond only with his wife and counsel. Released from prison after two hard years, he was not free from legal proceedings until 1869. Stateless, homeless, and without means to support himself and his young family, Davis lived in Canada and then Europe, searching for a new career in a congenial atmosphere. Finally, in November 1869, he settled in Memphis as president of a life insurance company and, for the first time in four years, had the means to build a new life.Throughout this difficult period, Varina Howell Davis demonstrated strength and courage, especially when her husband was in prison. She fought tirelessly for his release and to ensure their children's education and safety. Their letters clearly demonstrate the Davises' love and their dependence on each other. They both worried over the fate of the South and of family members and friends who had suffered during the war. Though disfranchised, Davis remained careful but not totally silent on the subject of politics. Even while in prison, he wrote without regret of his decision to follow Mississippi out of the Union and of his unswerving belief in the constitutionality of state rights and secession. Likewise, he praised all who supported the Confederacy with their blood and who, like himself, had lost everything.

Jefferson Davis Constitutionalist

The true story of the Southern Confederacy lies in the letters, speeches, and State papers of its leaders; and its best justification will come after such historical materials have been made accessible to the truth-loving historian of the ...

Jefferson Davis  Constitutionalist

The true story of the Southern Confederacy lies in the letters, speeches, and State papers of its leaders; and its best justification will come after such historical materials have been made accessible to the truth-loving historian of the future. The private and public papers of such Southern leaders as Calhoun, Davis, and Lee will reveal, as nothing else can, the principles for which they contended, and give to posterity the true estimate of their lives and deeds. -- Introduction.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

The final volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy through the completion of his two monumental works on the history of the Confederate States of America.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

The final volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy through the completion of his two monumental works on the history of the Confederate States of America. In the first, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881), Davis sought to recast the Confederacy as a just and moral nation that was constitutionally correct in standing up for its rights. Himself the subject of heated debates about why the Confederacy lost, Davis also used the book to castigate Confederate government and military officials who he believed had failed the cause. Later, A Short History of the Confederate States (1890) attempted to burnish the image of the former Confederacy and to refute accusations of intentional mistreatment of Union prisoners. While completing these books, Davis attended and spoke at numerous Confederate memorial services and monument dedications, all the while waging a bitter feud with two of his former top generals-Joseph E. Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard-over the reasons for the fall of the Confederacy. In late 1889, having returned to New Orleans from a trip to his plantation, Brierfield, Davis succumbed to pneumonia. His funeral procession attracted an estimated 150,000 mourners, a testament to the lasting popularity of the Confederacy's only president. In volume 14 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis, the editors have drawn from over one hundred manuscript repositories and private collections, in addition to numerous published sources, to offer a compelling portrait of Davis over the last decade of his life.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Volume 12 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy as he and his family fight to find their place in the world after the Civil War.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

"Being powerless to direct the current, I can only wait to see whither it runs," wrote Jefferson Davis to his wife, Varina, on October 11, 1865, five months after the victorious United States Army took him prisoner. Indeed, in the tumultuous years immediately after the Civil War, Davis found himself more acted upon than active, a dramatic change from his previous twenty years of public service to the United States as a major political figure and then to the Confederacy as its president and commander in chief. Volume 12 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy as he and his family fight to find their place in the world after the Civil War. A federal prisoner, incarcerated in a "living tomb" at Fort Monroe while the government decided whether, where, and by whom he should be tried for treason, Davis was initially allowed to correspond only with his wife and counsel. Released from prison after two hard years, he was not free from legal proceedings until 1869. Stateless, homeless, and without means to support himself and his young family, Davis lived in Canada and then Europe, searching for a new career in a congenial atmosphere. Finally, in November 1869, he settled in Memphis as president of a life insurance company and, for the first time in four years, had the means to build a new life.Throughout this difficult period, Varina Howell Davis demonstrated strength and courage, especially when her husband was in prison. She fought tirelessly for his release and to ensure their children's education and safety. Their letters clearly demonstrate the Davises' love and their dependence on each other. They both worried over the fate of the South and of family members and friends who had suffered during the war. Though disfranchised, Davis remained careful but not totally silent on the subject of politics. Even while in prison, he wrote without regret of his decision to follow Mississippi out of the Union and of his unswerving belief in the constitutionality of state rights and secession. Likewise, he praised all who supported the Confederacy with their blood and who, like himself, had lost everything.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Volume 12 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy as he and his family fight to find their place in the world after the Civil War.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

"Being powerless to direct the current, I can only wait to see whither it runs," wrote Jefferson Davis to his wife, Varina, on October 11, 1865, five months after the victorious United States Army took him prisoner. Indeed, in the tumultuous years immediately after the Civil War, Davis found himself more acted upon than active, a dramatic change from his previous twenty years of public service to the United States as a major political figure and then to the Confederacy as its president and commander in chief. Volume 12 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy as he and his family fight to find their place in the world after the Civil War. A federal prisoner, incarcerated in a "living tomb" at Fort Monroe while the government decided whether, where, and by whom he should be tried for treason, Davis was initially allowed to correspond only with his wife and counsel. Released from prison after two hard years, he was not free from legal proceedings until 1869. Stateless, homeless, and without means to support himself and his young family, Davis lived in Canada and then Europe, searching for a new career in a congenial atmosphere. Finally, in November 1869, he settled in Memphis as president of a life insurance company and, for the first time in four years, had the means to build a new life.Throughout this difficult period, Varina Howell Davis demonstrated strength and courage, especially when her husband was in prison. She fought tirelessly for his release and to ensure their children's education and safety. Their letters clearly demonstrate the Davises' love and their dependence on each other. They both worried over the fate of the South and of family members and friends who had suffered during the war. Though disfranchised, Davis remained careful but not totally silent on the subject of politics. Even while in prison, he wrote without regret of his decision to follow Mississippi out of the Union and of his unswerving belief in the constitutionality of state rights and secession. Likewise, he praised all who supported the Confederacy with their blood and who, like himself, had lost everything.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

This volume covers Davis' early years in Mississippi and Kentucky, his career at West Point, his first military assignments, and his tragic marriage to Sarah Knox Taylor.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Much of Jefferson Davis' life and career has been obscured in controversy and misinterpretation. This full, carefully annotated edition will make it possible for scholars to reassess the man who served as President of the Confederacy and who in the aftermath of war became the symbolic leader of the South. For almost a decade a dedicated team of scholars has been collecting and documenting Davis' papers and correspondence for this multi-volume work. The first volume includes not only Davis' private and public correspondence but also the important letters and documents addressed to and concerning him. Two autobiographical accounts, a detailed genealogy of the Davis family, and a complete bibliography are also included. This volume covers Davis' early years in Mississippi and Kentucky, his career at West Point, his first military assignments, and his tragic marriage to Sarah Knox Taylor. Together, the letters and documents unfold a human story of the first thirty-two years of a long life that later became filled with turbulence and controversy.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

The volume ends with Davis's inheritance of Beauvoir, which was his last home. The editors have drawn from over one hundred manuscript repositories and private collections in addition to numerous published sources in compiling Volume 13.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

Volume 13 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis follows the former president of the Confederacy as he becomes head of the Carolina Life Insurance Company of Memphis and attempts to gain a financial foothold for his newly reunited family. Having lost everything in the Civil War and spent two years immediately afterwards in federal prison, Davis faced a mounting array of financial woes, health problems, and family illnesses and tragedies in the 1870s. Despite setbacks during this decade, Davis also began a quest to rehabilitate his image and protect his historical legacy. Although his position with the insurance company provided temporary financial stability, Davis resigned after the Panic of 1873 forced the sale of the company and its new owners canceled payments to Carolina policyholders. He left for England the following year in search of employment and to recuperate from ongoing illnesses. In 1876, Davis became president of the London-based Mississippi Valley Society and relocated to New Orleans to run the company. Throughout the 1870s, Davis waged an expensive and seemingly endless legal battle to regain his prewar Mississippi plantation, Brierfield. He also began working on his memoirs at Beauvoir, the Gulf Coast estate of a family friend. Though disfranchised, Davis addressed the subject of politics with more frequency during this decade, criticizing the Reconstruction policies of the federal government while defending the South and the former Confederacy. The volume ends with Davis's inheritance of Beauvoir, which was his last home. The editors have drawn from over one hundred manuscript repositories and private collections in addition to numerous published sources in compiling Volume 13.