Jefferson Davis Quotes

All we ask is to be let alone.


I worked night and day for twelve years to prevent the war, but I could not. The North was mad and blind, would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came.


Everyone must understand that, whatever be the evil of slavery, it is not increased by its diffusion. Every one familiar with it knows that it is in proportion to its sparseness that it becomes less objectionable. Wherever there is an immediate connection between the master and slave, whatever there is of harshness in the system is diminished.


Slavery existed before the formation of this Union. It derived from the Constitution that recognition which it would not have enjoyed without the confederation. If the States had not united together, there would have been no obligation on adjoining States to regard any species of property unknown to themselves.


If the Confederacy falls, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a theory.


Not mine, oh, Lord, but thine.


God forbid that the day should ever come when to be true to my constituents is to be hostile to the Union.


Neither current events nor history show that the majority rule, or ever did rule.


If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory.


Never be haughty to the humble or humble to the haughty.


Garfield’s assassination attempt made “the whole nation care”.


My own convictions as to Negro slavery are strong. It has its evils and abuses…We recognize the negro as God and God’s Book and God’s Laws, in nature, tell us to recognize him – our inferior, fitted expressly for servitude…You cannot transform the negro into anything one-tenth as useful or as good as what slavery enables them to be.


A question settled by violence, or in disregard of law, must remain unsettled forever.


The time for compromise has now passed, and the South is determined to maintain her position, and make all who oppose her smell Southern powder and feel Southern steel.


Governments rest on the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish them at will whenever they become destructive of the ends for which they were established.


Truth crushed to earth is truth still and like a seed will rise again.


Let the gentleman go to Revelation to learn the decree of God – let him go to the Bible. . . . I said that slavery was sanctioned in the Bible, authorized, regulated, and recognized from Genesis to Revelation. . . . Slavery existed then in the earliest ages, and among the chosen people of God; and in Revelation we are told that it shall exist till the end of time shall come. You find it in the Old and New Testaments – in the prophecies, psalms, and the epistles of Paul; you find it recognized – sanctioned everywhere.


Our government is an agency of delegated and strictly limited powers. Its founders did not look to its preservation by force; but the chain they wove to bind these States together was one of love and mutual good offices…


Truthfulness is a cornerstone in character, and if it be not firmly laid in youth, there will ever after be a weak spot in the foundation.


To increase the power, develop the resources and promote the happiness of a Confederacy, it is requisite there should be so much of homogeneity that the welfare of every portion would be the aim of the whole.


Obstacles may retard, but they cannot long prevent the progress of a movement sanctioned by its justice and sustained by a virtuous people.


I will admit no bond that holds me to a party a day longer than I agree to its principles. When men meet together to confer, and ascertain whether or not they do agree, and find that they differ – radically, essentially, irreconcilably differ – what belongs to an honorable position except to part? They cannot consistently act together any longer.


The withdrawal of a State from a league has no revolutionary or insurrectionary characteristic. The government of the State remains unchanged as to all internal affairs. It is only its external or confederate relations that are altered. To term this action of a Sovereign a ‘rebellion’ is a gross abuse of language.


A people morally and intellectually equal to self-government must also be equal in self-defense.


It is not differences of opinion; it is geographical lines, rivers, and mountains which divide State from State, and make different nations of mankind.


Butler is branded a felon, an outlaw, an enemy of Mankind, and so ordered that in the event of his capture, the officer in command of the capturing force do cause him to be immediately executed by hanging.


A restitution of the Union has been rendered forever impossible.


Our armies were in as much chaos in victory as theirs in defeat.


A question settled by violence, or in disregard of law, must remain unsettled forever.


Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southerner apologizing for the defense we made of our inheritance.


I worked night and day for twelve years to prevent the war, but I could not. The North was mad and blind, would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came.


For an enemy so relentless in the war for our subjugation, we could not be expected to mourn; yet, in view of its political consequences, it could not be regarded otherwise than as a great misfortune for the South.


The time for compromise has now passed, and the South is determined to maintain her position, and make all who oppose her smell Southern powder and feel Southern steel.


Jefferson Davis quote: The war…must go on till the last man of this generation falls in…


Without doing injustice to the living, it may safely be asserted that our loss is irreparable; and that among the shining hosts of the great and good who now cluster around the banner of the country, there exists no purer spirit, no more heroic soul, than that of the illustrious man whose death I join you in lamenting.


If you will not have it thus: if in the pride of power, if in contempt of reason and reliance upon force, you say we shall not go, but shall remain as subjects to you, then, gentlemen of the North, a war is to be inaugurated the like of which men have not seen….


Your little army, derided for its want of arms, derided for its lack of all the essential material of war, has met the grand army of the enemy, routed it at every point, and now it flies, inglorious in retreat before our victorious columns. We have taught them a lesson in their invasion of the sacred soil of Virginia.


Sir, it is true that republics have often been cradled in war, but more often they have met with a grave in that cradle. Peace is the interest, the policy, the nature of a popular Government. War may bring benefits to a few, but privation and loss are the lot of the many. An appeal to arms should be the last resort, and only by national rights or national honor can it be justified.


Butler is branded a felon, an outlaw, an enemy of Mankind, and so ordered that in the event of his capture, the officer in command of the capturing force do cause him to be immediately executed by hanging.


For an enemy so relentless in the war for our subjugation, we could not be expected to mourn; yet, in view of its political consequences, it could not be regarded otherwise than as a great misfortune for the South.


Sir, it is true that republics have often been cradled in war, but more often they have met with a grave in that cradle. Peace is the interest, the policy, the nature of a popular Government. War may bring benefits to a few, but privation and loss are the lot of the many. An appeal to arms should be the last resort, and only by national rights or national honor can it be justified.


The war…must go on till the last man of this generation falls in his tracks…unless you acknowledge our right to self-government. We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for Independence, and that, or extermination, we WILL have.


Your little army, derided for its want of arms, derided for its lack of all the essential material of war, has met the grand army of the enemy, routed it at every point, and now it flies, inglorious in retreat before our victorious columns. We have taught them a lesson in their invasion of the sacred soil of Virginia.


I tried all in my power to avert this war. I saw it coming, for twelve years I worked night and day to prevent it, but I could not. The North was mad and blind; it would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came, and now it must go on unless you acknowledge our right to self-government. We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for Independence.


Without doing injustice to the living, it may safely be asserted that our loss is irreparable; and that among the shining hosts of the great and good who now cluster around the banner of the country, there exists no purer spirit, no more heroic soul, than that of the illustrious man whose death I join you in lamenting.


Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southern man apologizing for the defense we made of our inheritance. Our cause was so just, so sacred, that had I known all that has come to pass, had I known what was to be inflicted upon me, all that my country was to suffer, all that our posterity was to endure, I would do it all over again.


Among our neighbors of Central and Southern America, we see the Caucasian mingled with the Indian and the African. They have the forms of free government, because they have copied them. To its benefits they have not attained, because that standard of civilization is above their race. Revolution succeeds Revolution, and the country mourns that some petty chief may triumph, and Through a sixty days’ government ape the rulers of the earth.