Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis (1808-1889)
President of the Confederate States of America

The President of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865. Davis was a capable administrator but a poor planner. He thought independence could be won by conducting a defensive war, while General Lee favored offensive action. Many historians believe that Davis's strategy cost the South its chance for independence.

Although sincerely devoted to the Confederacy, Davis was never able to command the respect-- either in the North or in the South-- that was accorded by both side to Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson. The South considered him arbitrary and tyrannical; the North held him responsible for sufferings of Union soldiers in Southern prisons.

Davis was born in Christian (now Todd) County, Kentucky, and raised in Mississippi. He was graduated from West Point in 1828, and served in the Black Hawk War of 1831-32. In 1835 he resigned from the army to become a planter in Mississippi. In the same year, he was married to the daughter of Zachery Taylor, who later became President of the United States. His wife died three months after their marriage of malaria. Davis remained a recluse nearly 8 years and remarried 10 years later. His second wife Varina Howell (1826-1906), was a talented woman from an aristocratic Mississippi family. She and Davis had six children. She wrote Jefferson Davis, Ex-President of the Confederate States of America: A Memoir (two volumes, 1890). His views of the Civil War are recorded in The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881).

Davis was elected to the House of Representatives in 1845, but resigned to fight the Mexican War. He was slightly wounded, and distinguished himself at Monterrey and Buena Vista.

In 1847 Davis was appointed a United States senator, to fill out a term of a senator who had died in office. He resigned in 1851 to run for governor of Mississippi but was defeated by a narrow margin. Davis served as secretary of war for President Pierce and again entered the Senate in 1857. He was a constant advocate of the doctrine of states' rights.

(more later)

1991 New Standard Encyclopedia – Standard Education Corporation – Chicago.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis was my 5th cousin, seven times removed of the wife. Or you could say his wife was my 5th cousin seven times removed. He was not blood kin to us, but his wife was.

Sarah Knox Taylor was the 4th great-granddaughter of John Taylor I and Elizabeth Taylor, my 11th great-grandparents.

The Lineage:

15th. John Taylor (b.1478) m. Susan Rowland (b.1482)
14th. Dr. Rowland Taylor (b.1510) m. Margaret Tyndale (b.1510)
13th. Thomas Taylor I (b.1548) m. Elizabeth Burwell (b.1552)
12th. Thomas Taylor II (b.1573) m. Margaret Swinderby (b.1578)
11th. John Taylor I (b.1607) m. Elizabeth Taylor (b.1610) (maiden name unkown)
..........James Taylor I (b.1635) m. Frances Walker (b.1640)
...............James Taylor II, Colonel (b.1669) m. Martha Thompson (b.1679)
....................Frances Taylor (b.1700) m. Ambrose Madison (b.1700)
.........................James Madison, Colonel (b.1750) m. Eleanor Rose Nellie Conway (b.1730)
..............................James Madison, Jr., 4th President (b.1750/51) m. Dorothea Payne (b.1768)
..........Zachary Taylor I (b.1707) m. Elizabeth Lee (b.1709)
..............Richard Taylor, Colonel (b.1743) m. Sarah Pannill Dabney Strother (b.1760)
..................Zachery Scott Taylor, 12th President (1784 VA-1850 DC) m. Margaret Mackall Smith
......................Sarah Knox Taylor (b.1814) m. Confederate President Jefferson Davis (1808-1889)
10th John Taylor, II (b.1627 England) m. Alice (Gascoyne) Gascoigne (b.1628 England)
9th. John Taylor, III (b.1654 VA) m. Ann Vezey (b.1658 VA)
8th. Elizabeth Taylor (b.1656) m. Edmund Basye, Sr. (b.1645 England)
7th. Edmund Bayse, Jr. (b.1675 VA) m. Lydia Karenhappuch (b.1703 VA)
6th. Leannah Basye (b. 1725 VA) m. John Webb I (b.1720 PA)
5th. John Webb, II (b. 1745 VA) m. (1)Hannah Woodward Riveer (b.1750 TN)
4th. Elizabeth Leannah Basey Webb (b.1771 VA) m. Mark Lambert Jackson (b.17663 VA)
3rd. Susannah Ann Elizabeth Jackson (b.1798 VA) m. Lemuel Manire (b.1792 NC/KY)
2nd. David Crockett Manire (b.1832 TN) m. Martha M. Reid (b.1835 TN)
Great-Grandparents: Mary Tennesse Manire (b.1866 TN) m. William Glenn Cole (b.1857 TN)
Grand-parents: Robert Marvin Cole (b.1900 TN) m. Mary Irene Hill (b.1906 TN)
Parents: Dora Leopal Cole (b.1931 TN) m. Kenneth Allen Freeman (b.1931 TX)
Self: Alan Cole Freeman (b.1953 TN) m. Frances Anne Hyman (b.1958 TX)

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