Frequently Asked Dead Presidents Questions

Why No Mention of Jefferson Davis??

I have visited Jefferson Davis's gravesite (it lies in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, where Presidents Monroe and Tyler also reside).

So why do I have no page devoted to Davis (other than this one, of course)? Well, I have two reasons.

  1. These pages are devoted to those men who have served in the very office created by George Washington -- President of the United States of America under the 1789 Constitution. While I am cognizant of the fact that the constitution of the Confederate States of America is a virtual carbon copy of Madison and Washington's masterpiece, the fact is that because the war between the states ended the way it did, Lincoln's contention -- that there never was any secession at all -- won out de facto. The United States never officially acknowledged the loss of the southern states and consistently asserted that Lincoln was President even of the states then "in rebellion." So Davis is excluded while remaining true to the unbroken succession of presidents shared by all Americans since Washington (because the victor gets to write the history, the secessions "never were recognized as such"). I don't want to start a brush fire and a debate about the relative merits of the constitutions. I think we all agree today that slavery was an evil, and I will agree that the autonomous powers of the states are no longer -- largely as a result of the civil war -- exactly what Washington and Madison perhaps wished them to remain. So, as homage to these lost powers (although exercising them to continue human bondage is nothing that can be condoned), perhaps Jefferson Davis deserves a spot on these pages. However, I also have a second excuse....

  2. Uh, if I posed myself in front of Davis's tombstone, I can't find a photographic record of it. I do have photos of the stone, but none of your favorite ham at the site. So only when I revisit Richmond and smile for the birdie will I even consider the possibility of a Davis gravesite page.
As you can see above, I have posted a photo of the Davis gravesite without my humble presence. We have Patrick Bauer to thank for the image above, and the one below: