Jefferson Davis was an American soldier and politician, but is best known for being the only president of the Confederate States of America. Educated as a soldier at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Davis served two tours of military service, first during the Black Hawk War in 1832 and later during the Mexican-American War from 1846-48. Following the Mexican-American War, Davis was appointed to the United States Senate, and later served as secretary of war to President Pierce. Although Davis, as a senator, had argued against secession, he resigned his role in the federal government and returned to his home state of Mississippi following that state’s successful succession vote, and was acclaimed president of the Confederate States of America in 1861.
At the end of the American Civil War in 1865, Davis was captured and accused of treason, and his citizenship was revoked. Davis’s 1881 memoir, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government did much to restore his reputation, as did his efforts to encourage reconciliation, however, his citizenship was not restored until 1978. Jefferson Davis died in 1889.