Jefferson Davis

Ink on wood
9 x 5 3/8 inches
Credit Line:
Collection of Lysiane Luong Grooms and the artist

Grooms’s free-standing portraits convey the intimacy of table-top photographs and the somber mood of small memorials. Davis, elected president of the Confederacy, was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, like many of the Confederate leaders. After fighting in the Mexican- American War, he returned to Mississippi to farm his cotton plantation with 100 slaves. Later he went to Washington as senator, and in 1853 became the Secretary of War. As for his presidency, historians often say Davis was outclassed by Lincoln as a leader, but there were many complex reasons why foreign countries refused to aid the Confederate war effort. After the war, Davis continued to defend the plantation system.