|Birthplace||Christian County, Kentucky|
|Places of residence||His family settled in southwestern Mississippi in 1811.|
In 1821 Davis entered Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.
From 1824 to 1828 Davis attended the United States Military Academy at West Point
After graduating West Point, he received a commission as 2d lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Following his participation in the final action of the Black Hawk war, he was promoted to 1st lieutenant. Davis retired from the military in 1835 to marry and assume the life of a cotton planter; however, his wife died within a few months. In 1845 Davis remarried and was also elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Davis resigned from the House in 1846 to serve as colonel of the volunteer "Mississippi Rifles" in the Mexican War. Following the war Davis served in the U.S. Senate, and in 1853 he was appointed Secretary of War by President Franklin Pierce. On February 8, 1861 Davis was elected provisional president of the Confederate States of America. Davis and his family arrived in Richmond, Virginia on May 29, 1861, and after his election as president in November of 1861 he was formally inaugurated February 22, 1862. On April 2, 1865 Davis evacuated Richmond and was captured in Georgia on May 10.
From 1865 to 1867 he was imprisoned at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, and after his release in 1868 he traveled to England and France. After the war he worked in life insurance and wrote "The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government".