Ken Burns Classroom

Jefferson Davis

Ken Burns Film: The Civil War

Collections: Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877)

Subject: US History

Grade Level: 6-12

Image of Jefferson Davis.
Jefferson Davis.


Jefferson Davis, first and only president of the Confederacy, left the U.S. Senate to help lead the secessionist states in 1861. But his political skills or lack thereof, made the new government’s performance inconsistent and often fractious, although his support of Robert E. Lee was his strongest point. Davis was imprisoned for two years after the war but never tried, and died a much-admired figure in the South.

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