Jefferson Davis/Timeline

< Jefferson Davis

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June 3. Born on his father's farm in Todd (formerly Christian) County, Kentucky, the tenth and youngest child of Samuel and Jane Davis.

Moves with the family to Saint Mary's Parish, Louisiana.

Moves with the family to a farm near Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi Territory.

Commences attending school, with his sister Mary, in a log-cabin school house, one mile from home.

Enters the Catholic school of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Washington County, Kentucky.

Enters Jefferson College at Washington, Adams County, Mississippi.

October 1. Enters Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky.

March 11. Appointed a cadet at West Point.
June 18. Delivers an address on "Friendship" at the junior exhibition, Transylvania University.
September 24. Enters West Point.

July 1. Graduated from West Point and commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of the 1st Infantry. Stationed at Fort Crawford.

Detailed to supervise the cutting of timber on the banks of the Red River for the repair and enlargement of Fort Crawford. Stationed at Fort Winnebago.

Supervises the building and management of a saw mill on the Yellow River, contracts pneumonia and returns to Fort Crawford.

In command of a detachment at Galena, Illinois, to remove miners from lands the occupation of which was protested by the Indians; serves in the Black Hawk War and escorts Black Hawk to prison in Jefferson Barracks.

March 4. Promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant of the 1st Dragoons.
August 30. Is made a regimental adjutant.

Stationed at Fort Gibson.

June 17. Marries Miss Knox Taylor, daughter of Colonel Zachary Taylor.
June 30. Resigns his commission.
September 15. His wife dies of malarial fever at the home of his sister, Mrs. Luther Smith, Bayou Sara, Louisiana.
Recovering from malarial fever, Davis sails for Havana and from there sails to New York.

Becomes a cotton planter and a student of political science on Briarfield plantation, Warren County, Mississippi.

Enters political life as a Democratic candidate for a seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives and engages, on election day, with Seargent S. Prentiss in a public debate on the issues of the day.

Canvasses Mississppi campaigning for the Polk and Dallas presidential ticket.

February 26. Marries Varina Howell.
Elected a member of the national House of Representatives.
December 8. Takes his seat in the House.
December 19. Speaks in the House, his first speech in that body, on naturalization laws. Offers resolutions with regard to military schools and a mail route from Mobile, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi.

January 13. Offers a resolution in the House requesting information from the Secretary of the Navy with regard to the Ship Island channel.
February 6. Speaks in the House regarding the ownership of the Oregon territory.
March 16. Delivers a strict-constructionist speech on the river and harbor bill.
March 27. Speaks on the bill to raise two regiments of riflemen.
April 8. Speaks on the bill to raise a regiment of mounted riflemen.
May 28. Speaks on the House resolution of thanks to General Taylor.
May 30. Speaks on the bill to alter the pay department of the Army.
June 12. Offers resolutions that medals be awarded in recognition of services rendered by General Taylor and his army at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma.
June. Resigns his seat in the House.
July 18. Elected colonel of the first regiment of Mississippi riflemen in the war with Mexico.
July 21. Sails with the regiment from New Orleans for southeastern Texas.
September 21-23. Participates in the siege of Monterey.

February 22. Wounded while fighting at Buena Vista.
June 20. Declines an appointment as brigadier general of volunteers on the grounds that volunteers are militia, and that the Constitution reserves to the State the appointment of all militia officers.
July 12. Mustered out.
August 10. Appointed to fill a vacancy in the U. S. Senate.
December 6. Takes his seat in the Senate.
December 30. Appointed a regent of the Smithsonian Institute.

January 3. Speaks on a bill to increase the size of the Army.
February 17. Speaks on the resolution of thanks to General Taylor.
May 5. Speaks on the bill providing for a temporary occupation of Yucatan by the United States.
July 1. Speaks in defense of the reputation of General John A. Quitman.
July 12. Speaks on the bill to establish a territorial government for Oregon.

January 12. Speaks on a petition for the African colonization of free blacks.
January 22. Speaks on resolution by the Legislature of New York with regard to the slavery question.
January 31. Speaks on the bill to aid the construction of a railroad across the Isthmus of Panama.
March 3. Speaks on the bill for the establishment of the Department of the Interior.
December 18. Made chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs.
December 20. Opposes a resolution inviting Father Mathew to a seat in the Senate on the ground of his being an abolitionist.

January 10. Speaks on the resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of Vermont with regard to slavery.
February. Elected to the Senate for a term of six years.
February 8. Speaks on the question of receiving a petition for the dissolution of the Union.
February 12. Speaks on the subject of the extension of slavery to the Territories.
March 18. Speaks in defense of Buchanan's position on the slavery question.
May 1. Delivers a strict constructionist speech on the joint resolution providing aid to search for Sir John Franklin.
May 2. Objects, in a speech, to the granting of public lands to corporations.
May 8. Presents "the report and resolutions of the Legislature of Mississippi, on the subject which distracts and divides the people of the Union, and which threatens, unless checked in its onward course, to produce consequences fatal to the cause of human liberty, as secured and advanced by the Constitution of the United States."
June 13. Speaks on the bill to grant to Arkansas the swamp lands in that State.
September 28. Speaks on a proposition to abolish flogging in the Navy.
January-September. Speaks many times on Clay's compromise measures with regard to slavery.

January 22. Speaks on Clay's resolution of inquiry into the expediency of making more effectual provision for the suppression of the African slave trade.
February 18. Speaks on Clay's resolution with regard to resistance, in Boston, to the execution of the fugitive slave law.
September. Resigns seat in the Senate to succeed Pitman as Democratic candidate for governor of Mississippi.
November. Defeated by Henry S. Foote in the Mississippi gubernatorial election.

January. Takes part in the states rights convention at Jackson, Mississippi.
September-October. Speaks in Mississippi and neighboring States for the Pierce ticket.

March 7. Becomes Secretary of War.
July. Speaks in Philadelphia on the Administration's policy with regard to internal improvements, and visits New England.
December 1. Transmits to Congress his first report as Secretary of War.

January 22. Conducts Stephen A. Douglas and some other prominent southerners to the White House for an interview with the President on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.
December 4. Transmits to Congress his second annual report as Secretary of War.

February 27. Transmits to Congress his elaborate report on the several possible routes for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.
December 8. Transmits to Congress his third annual report as Secretary of War.

December 1. Transmits to Congress his fourth annual report as Secretary of War.

March 4. Re-enters the Senate.

Disabled from service in the Senate and threatened with the loss of his left eye.

Spends the summer in Portland, Maine, on account of ill health.
July 4. Delivers a speech onboard a ship off Boston in which he pleads for the preservation of the Union.
October 19. Delivers a speech in Faneuil Hall in which he urges devotion to the Union and obedience to the Constitution.
December. Speaks in the Senate on his proposed substitute for the Pacific Railroad Bill.

January. Speaks several times on the French Spoliation Bill.
February 1. Speaks on the agricultural colleges bill.
February 28. Speaks on questions connected with slavery in the Territories.
December 5. Speaks on a resolution of inquiry into John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry.

February 2. Submits six resolutions defining his position with regard to the relations of States.
February 29. Speaks on the bill for the admission of Kansas into the Union.
May 8. Speaks on his resolutions with regard to the relations of the States.

January 10. Upholds the right of secession.
January 21. Announces that his State has declared her separation from the United States, delivers a farewell address, and withdraws from the Senate.
January 25. Commissioned major general of Mississippi troops.
February 9. Elected Provisional President of the Confederate States of America by the Confederate convention at Montgomery.
February 18. Inaugurated Provisional President of the Confederate States of America. Appoints Peace Commission to settle differences with the United States without war.
March 3. Appoints General Beauregard to the command of the Confederate forces in and around Charleston.
May 29. Takes up his residence at Richmond.
October 16. Elected President of the Confederate States of America.

February 22. Inaugurated President of the Confederate States of America.
May 31. Assigns General Robert E. Lee to the command of the Army of Northern Virginia.
December. Makes a tour of the West, reviewing the Confederate Armies.

August 8. After Gettysburg General Lee, on account of adverse criticism, offers to resign his command. Davis declines.

October-November. Visits Georgia to rally the people to the support of the Confederacy.

January 12. Appoints commissioners to the conference at Hampton Roads.
April 3. Leaves Richmond, Virginia, in company with the Confederate Cabinet, for Danville, Virginia.
April 9. Proceeds to Greensboro, North Carolina.
April 16. Proceeds from Greensboro toward Meridian, Mississippi.
May 10. Taken prisoner at Irwinville, Georgia.
May 19. Confined in the gun room of a casemate at Fortress Monroe.
May 23. Manacled.
May 26. His irons are removed at the suggestion of his physician.

May. Indicted for treason.

Admitted to bail, visits Canada and sails for New Orleans, Louisiana via Havana, Cuba.

Visits Europe.
December. Court divides on a motion to quash his indictment for treason.

February. An order of nolle prosequi is entered in his case.
Becomes president of the Carolina Life Insurance Company at Memphis, Tennessee.

Presides over the Lee memorial meeting at Richmond.

Urged to accept election to the United States Senate by the State of Mississippi but refuses.

Promotes the Mississippi Society for the purpose of stimulating trade between the United States and South America.

Visits England.

Returns to Beauvoir, Mississippi to write The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

Completes The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government and visits Europe.

Visits Alabama and Georgia.

March 10. Delivers his last address to the Mississippi Legislature.

October. Completes the manuscript of A Short History of the Confederate States of America.
December 6. Dies in New Orleans, Louisiana.