Jefferson Davis was the first and only president of the (southern) Confederate States of America and was in office only for the duration of the American Civil War. He was born in Kentucky in 1809 and attended America's famous military academy West Point. Before retiring to a life of leisure on a plantation in Mississippi he served in the U.S. army until 1835 and was then elected for the United States congress in 1845 - a time in America when the quarrels between the northern states and the southern states was growing considerably. In congress he continually voiced his opinions which included being in favour of slavery and supporting the right of each state to leave the Union. When the southern states of America finally decided to leave the Union it was considered an act of war by the northern states, and Jefferson Davis was elected President of the south. He was the first choice because of his strong political and military experience, and he then took personal charge of the Confederate war plans and strategy.
After a while the civil war went badly for the south and Jefferson Davis became unpopular and was disliked by many. The southern states were defeated in 1865 and Davis was captured and imprisoned for two years. After his release he went to Mississippi where he spent the rest of his life. He died in 1889 and is buried in Richmond, Virginia - the old capital of the Confederacy. His grave bears the inscription Jefferson Davis, the first and only President of Confederate States of America.
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