Jefferson F. Davis, one and only President of the Confedracy, always acted from the highest principles and always did only what he thought right. His tragedy is that he had the greatest difficulty in understanding that those who opposed him throughout his life could also be acting from the highest principles and doing what they thought was right. Davis is too often perceived as a two-dimensional character. To his detractors he is viewed as a defender of slavery and thus evil incarnate. To his admirers, especially his neo-Confederate admirers, he is a champion of small, constitutional government and his stance on slavery is of little importance. Both views are completely mistaken. Davis was a complicated man living in complicated times. He was also a man of formidable talents who came very close to bringing off, against overwhelming odds, the birth of a new nation. In future blog articles I will be exploring aspects of the career and personality of Davis, tied in with similar posts on Lincoln, his nemesis. I announce this intention as we approach the anniversary of the birth of Lincoln on February 12, because I think a comparative study of the lives of these two men can be a tool to a greater understanding of them both. Much more to come over the next year or so.