Jefferson Davis: Unconquerable Heart

By Dix, Mary Seaton | The Journal of Southern History, November 2000 | Go to article overview

Jefferson Davis: Unconquerable Heart


Dix, Mary Seaton, The Journal of Southern History


Jefferson Davis: Unconquerable Heart. By Felicity Allen. Shades of Blue and Gray Series. (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, c. 1999. Pp. xxii, 809. $34.95, ISBN 0-8262-1219-0.)

Only an intrepid biographer would undertake a life of Jefferson Davis--it is so long, full, and controversial. There is his public career--Army officer and hero of the Mexican War, congressman, secretary of war, and senator of the United States, and president of the Confederate States--and then there are the twenty-four years he lived after the Civil War. Moreover, his acquaintances numbered almost every prominent person of his time, and he maintained close relationships with his numerous family and that of his wife. Finally, Davis's personality defies easy characterization. Given these daunting obstacles, Felicity Allen has managed to master both the details and the larger issues in order to produce a well-researched and thoughtful biography.

One of a number of biographers attracted to the challenge of late, Allen has found what she considers to be the essence of Davis in his devotion to religious principles and southern chivalric ideals. Although the Davises attended church in Washington and had as a close friend the chaplain of the Congress, Davis only formally joined a church in 1862, when he became a member of St, Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond. The evidence is not convincing that religion played a dominant role in his earlier life. The author also strenuously defends Davis's positions on slavery and state rights. Allen reports his public and private statements accurately, but she will win few converts to Davis's legalistic stance on either subject. That he was a stalwart defender of southern chivalry is undeniable.

The author does not gloss over the sometimes troubled state of Davis's second marriage (his first bride Sarah, daughter of Zachary Taylor, died soon after their wedding in 1835). Carol Bleser's 1998 presidential address to the Southern Historical Association and subsequent article [Journal of Southern History, LXV (February 1999), 3-40] have invited historians to assess Davis as husband. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Jefferson Davis: Unconquerable Heart
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.