Jefferson Davis' elected president of Confederacy 150 years ago today
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
By Ben Flanagan,
The Alabama Confederate Monument is one of the largest remaining historical Civil War monuments in the country.
Civil War Landmarks in Montgomery gallery (11 photos)
MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Today marks the anniversary of the election of Jefferson Davis as provisional president of the Confederate States of America at a congress held in Montgomery.
Davis was later inaugurated on Feb. 18, a date that will soon be celebrated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans on Feb. 19 with their Confederate Heritage Rally 2011 at the Alabama State Capitol at noon.
The event plans to commemorate the founding of the CSA, the inauguration of Davis and the raising of the first Confederate Flag and will involve re-enactments, cannon fire and speeches.
Newspapers throughout the state and country are taking a look back into the history of the Confederacy, some offering a simple glimpse into the past while others question whether or not the anniversary should be celebrated at all.
The Montgomery Advertiser talks to residents of the "birthplace of the Confederacy," finding disagreements on what caused the Civil War and whether it is an event worthy of honor or shame. Some residents believe it is a part of United States history no matter what while others do not see any reason to celebrate it at all.
Washington Post columnist Dennis Frye peeks into how Davis personified the American leader of the mid-19th century, saying the seceded states needed his experience as a politician and president. But Frye concludes Davis ultimately couldn't control the advocates of states rights in his own confederacy of states.
New York Times columnist Adam Goodheart recounts in detail when Davis left the U.S. Senate to secede from the Union, depicting how one Southern senator after another rose to declaim his valedictory address. Goodheart illustrates how an ill Davis explained why his state seceded.
New York Times columnist John J. Miller writes about how the southerners who gathered in Montgomery a century and a half ago saw themselves as inheritors of the original Founding Fathers. He also points out some of the advantages and flaws of the Confederate constitution, including an idea to limit U.S. presidents to two terms.
New York Times columnist Ronald Coddington recalls how representatives from six states gathered in Montgomery to draft and adopt a provisional Confederate constitution, as troops began mobilizing across the state. He also looks back at the birth of the Wilcox True Blues.
Dalton Daily Citizen writer Jim Burran looks back at from Davis' inauguation on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol, to where he rode in a carriage drawn by six horses.