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Samuel Emory Davisabt 1756 -- 4 JUL 1824avatar
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Jefferson Davis

USA Secretary of War,Defense
Cause: malaria
Aged: 82.5 years
American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI)
Jefferson Davis
Birth 1808 Kentucky
Volume 40, Page 423
Biographical Info:
Graduate of West Point, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, Secretary of War, President of the Cofederate States of America
Source: Of the southern states of America By Stella Pickett Hardy. Baltimore. 1958. (643p.):509-10

One source has these notes on the middle name of Jefferson Davis:

There is some question as to whether Jefferson Davis had a middle initial. Jefferson did not use a middle name or initial himself, and it appears that the middle initial "F" may have arisen by tradition after his death. This tradition alleges that the "F" stands for "Finis," meaning "end" or final child. Consider that unless Samuel and Jane had agreed to end their sexual relations at that point or unless a physician had pronounced Jane unable to bear further children, they could not possibly have known at the time they named Jefferson that he was to be their last child.

However, there are other families that have children with Finis as a name, and it seems to be unrelated to their order of birth. For instance Finis Arnold Epperson in this genealogy is the first son of his father Finis Jerome Epperson, who does appear to be the last sibling in his family.

Notes on Place of birth:
A source reports Fairview as the town, and indicates it is located in Christian County, which is now Todd County. Christian County is in the south, on the border with Tennessee. It was divided at one point into Christian and Todd. County information indicates, however, that Fairview is in the north, near the Ohio border, in neither Christian nor Todd County. Fairview is apparently located in Kenton County, in the Cincinnati area.
-- ePodunk, epodunk.com

But these city-county lists may be wrong. However, in Wikipedia, they identify Fairview, and on Google Maps it does show up in Christian County. Wikipedia explains that Fairview is on the border between the two counties Todd and Christian, which all used to be Christian County. This Fairview is in the southwestern section of Kentucky. The questoin about the Fairview in the north of the State is unclear.

Family Tree Maker map data checker reports (requires) Fairview to be in Fleming County, in the north, but several counties east of Kenton County.

Family Data Collection - Individual Records
Jefferson Finis Davis
Parents Samuel Emory Davis, Jane Cook
Spouse Sarah Knox Taylor
Birth 3 Jun 1808 Christian Now Todd County, Hopkinsville, KY
17 Jun 1835 Beechland Lexington, KY
Death 6 Dec 1889 New Orleans, LA

Alabama, Marriages, Deaths, Wills, Court, and Other Records, 1784-1920
Honorable Jefferson Davis
Death 6 Dec 1889 Alabama
Note card on telegram in Gov Seay's correspondence, from Joseph A Shakespeare, Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana) notifying the Alabama governor of the death of Jefferson Davis, former President of the COnfederate States of America. Telegram sent the day of the death.

There are three memorials for Jefferson Davis on Find a Grave. The folloiwng, maintained by the FAG staff, has an extensive biography.

Jefferson Finis Davis
Birth Jun 3, 1808 Fairview, Christian County, Kentucky
Death Dec 6, 1889 New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Confederate States of America President, Author. Jefferson Davis was the unrepentant highest ranking confederate leader of the South. The only Southern leader shackled in a dungeon and sacrificed as atonement for the sins of many. He refused to apply for a pardon because, he said, "I have not repented." In 1978, the United States Congress posthumously restored Davis's citizenship. By the time his peaceful death occurred while visiting New Orleans, he was the symbol of the Lost Cause and the most revered man in the South. Eighteen months after his death and temporary burial in New Orleans Metaire Cemetery,

Davis's widow, Varina, decided the final burial place was to be Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery considered the National Cemetery of the Confederacy. His remains, were removed from the vault in New Orleans and placed on a flag-draped caisson escorted by honor guards composed of his old soldiers to Memorial Hall, where he lay in state. The next day, as thousands of people silently watched from the sidewalks and balconies, the caisson bore his body to a waiting funeral train. On the way, bonfires beside the tracks lit up ranks of Davis's old soldiers standing at attention beside stacked arms. In Richmond, Gray haired veterans escorted him to the Virginia statehouse where thousands filed past in respect before interment.

The farm born Christian County, Kentucky, Jefferson Finis Davis had years of political service in Washington before secession propelled him into hapless leadership as President of the Confederacy.

He served in both houses of the U.S. Congress as a Representative and a Senator and was United States Secretary of War during the administration of Franklin Pierce. His military career was both extensive and honorable starting with a completed four year term as a West Point cadet. During the Mexican-American War, Davis serving as a colonel, raised a volunteer regiment which saw extensive service in Mexico where he was wounded. His leadership of the South during the Civil War was froth with suspect decisions.

They were instrumental in leading to the lose of the war and allowing it to continue when all was lost. Finally Lee ended the bloodshed with a surrender at Appomattox. Rather than turning himself in to Union forces, he fled aboard a train with his cabinet and the remaining gold from the treasury in an attempt to prolong the conflict. Davis was captured at Irwinville, Georgia without a fight and placed under arrest. Union officials were in a quandary as to his fate. He was confined to an open unheated artillery gun emplacement in the ramparts of Fortress Monroe in Virginia under deplorable condition, shackled for a time probably with the intention that his captivity would be lethal.

Although under indictment for treason, he was released after two years in poor health. The federal government dropped charges because of constitutional concerns. However, he was stripped of his citizenship and his remaining property confiscated. Jefferson Davis was now poverty strickend [sic]. He attempted with investors to start an insurance company but it was unsuccessful. Still defiant, he presided over a memorial service in Richmond for Robert E. Lee upon his death.

Davis was elected to the U.S. Senate but could not serve because of loss of citizenship. He spent his last twelve years in retirement at his Beauvoir Estate located between Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi. He turned to the pen and wrote the two volume book, "The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government" and then only two months before his death in New Orleans at age eighty-one completed "A Short History of the Confederate States of America."

Legacy...Upon his death, the south endlessly constructed memorials to Davis trying to rival the Lincoln honors in the north. A few of the more important and imposing: The Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site is a Kentucky State Park in Fairview which preserves his birthplace. The focal point is a 351 foot tall concrete obelisk. The Beauvoir estate in Mississippi, was the retirement home of Davis. The 51 acre property consists of five main buildings, The Davis home and the presidential library which houses collections of the Confederate Soldiers Museum and presidential artifacts, papers and memorabilia. Jefferson Davis State Park located in Irwinville, Georgia has an elaborate monument on the spot where Davis was captured.

Statues are in abundance: Monument Avenue, Richmond, Confederate Park, Memphis, University of Texas, concourse and the city park, Fitzgerald, Georgia. The controversial Jefferson Davis Highway originally was a coast to coast affair until most parts were eliminated. Today it is only an interstate among the southern states. Finally in a note of special interest, you can view the memorial page on Findagrave of Traveler, his special pet and companion during the last years of his life.

(bio by: Donald Greyfield)

Samuel Emory Davis (1756 - 1824)
Jane Simpson Cook Davis (1759 - 1845)

Joseph Emory Davis (1784 - 1870)
Benjamin Davis (1786 - 1827)
Samuel A. Davis (1789 - 1831)
Anna Eliza Davis Smith (1791 - 1870)
Isaac Williams Davis (1792 - 1834)
Lucinda Farrar Davis Stamps (1797 - 1873)
Amanda Jane Davis Bradford (1800 - 1881)
Matilda Davis Vaughn (1801 - 1834)
Mary Ellen Davis Davis (1805 - 1824)

Burial Jefferson Davis Highway Monument, Ridgefield, Clark County, Washington
[Note, this is a memorial site, not his actual place of burial.]

Maintained by Find A Grave, Originally Created by Kay and Duane Douglass Nov 27, 2011
-- Find A Grave Memorial #81092545, findagrave.com

ChildrenFirst NameBirth DtDeath DtBirth PlaceSpouses

Margaret Howell 

25 FEB 185518 JUL 1909  DC, Washington Joel Addison Hayes 

Varina Anne "Winnie" 

27 JUN 186418 SEP 1898  VA  
Pics & Attach-
  • Taken After His Release From Prison
  • coll8/415.jpg
  • Morgan Wedding in Murfreesboro TN
  • Jefferson Davis and Wife
  • Statue, US Capitol
  • Tombstone
  • Tombstone
  • Birthplace of Jefferson Davis
  • James Monroe Tomb
  • 4 Generations
  • Jefferson Davis and Wife
  • James Monroe Tomb
Captain Thomas Bullitt AlexanderBodyguard
Francis Burton HarrisonFrancis Burton Harrisonprivate secretarysource
Dr. Alexander Yelverton Peyton GarnettDr. Alexander Yelverton Peyton GarnettPersonal Physician
Burton HarrisonBurton Harrisonprivate secretary
Franklin PierceFranklin PierceAppointed Secretary of War,Defense

Political Appointments (4)

Namesake Places (4)

SuggestTo suggest changes to these records, login & edit by choosing options to edit, & your suggested changes will be saved for the record moderator to review.
  1. Wikipedia
  2. Findagrave Jefferson Finis Davis
  3. Cemetery: Richmond VA Cemetery Visits by Ray Gurganus;
    Source from: Ray Gurganus
  4. Other: Gedcom Import: Jenkins-Gregory-LeStrange-McSwainPRIV.ged; Imported 8/19/2007;
  5. Website: The Political Graveyard;
    Source from: Ray Gurganus
  1. Findagrave Varina Anne Banks Howell Davis
  2. Website: Wikipedia--Varina Howell;
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Added8-19-2007 01:49 PM11-15-2010 06:19 PM
Updated4-1-2017 10:10 PM3-9-2017 02:59 PM
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