Jefferson Davis was one of the most admired man of his time before the War Between the States. His background included service in the Army, bravery and acclaim in the Mexican War, terms as a Representative and then a Senator in congress, and a stint as Secretary of War.
He struggled to save the Union, but when Mississippi seceded, he resigned his Senate seat and then accepted the Presidency of the Confederate Government. He helped form a new nation, while at war. He worked day and night to save the Confederacy, just as earlier he has sought to save the Union.
After the collapse of the Confederacy, Davis was imprisoned at Fortress Monroe. He waited for two years to vindicate the Southern cause, but the Federal Government never brought him to trial for treason, because it feared it would be proved that the South had the right to secede.
After the war, he was truly a man without a country, with no livelihood, no salary and no home, as it had been seized by Union troops in 1862.Along with thousands of others, he had gambled all and lost all. With a wife and young children to provide for, he lived in Canada and England, hoping to find a suitable job. Finally in 1869 he agreed to be president of a Middle Tennessee life insurance company and lived there until the 1870’s.
His fortunes changed when a longtime admirer Sarah Ellis Dorsey offered him a cottage on her seaside estate near Biloxi as a place to write his memoirs of the war. There Jefferson Davis was home at last. The property became his when Ms. Dorsey died. In November, 1889 he fell ill at Brierfield and died in New Orleans. Before 200,000 people he was interred in Metairie Cemetery, and in 1893, re-interred in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital identified with his most famous political years.