Born in Fairfield, Kentucky. Attended Transylvania University 1821 to 1824. Graduate of West Point in 1828, 23rd in a class of 33. Served in the Army to 1835. Married Sarah Knox Taylor, daughter of Zachary Taylor, in July 1835. She died within three months. Married Varina Howell February 26, 1845. He had no children.
Elected to the House of Representatives and served March 4, 1845, to 1846. Resigned to serve during the Mexican War. Elected to the Senate and served August 10, 1847, to September 23, 1851. Appointed Secretary of War serving 1853 to 1857. Elected to the Senate again serving March 4, 1857, to January 21, 1861.
Davis was elected President of the Confederacy and inaugurated February 18, 1861. As the tide of war turned against the south, he withdrew from Richmond with his cabinet, On May 10, 1865, he was captured near Irwinville, Georgia. He was imprisoned in Fortress Monroe for two years. He was indicted for treason but never brought to trial. He died in New Orleans.
Davis appears on Confederate paper money:
50 cent, issue of April 6, 1863
50 cent, issue of February 17, 1864
$1 State of Missouri in Jefferson City
$50 Issue of Sept 2, 1861
$50 Issue of December 2, 1862
$50 Issue of April 6, 1863
$50 Issue of Feb 17, 1864
bio: ApCAB; BDC; BDEB; DAB; Drake; EAB; NCAB 4; TCBDA; WAB; WWWA-H; NUM 75 Nov 1962 pages 1475-1476Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies