Davis's competition as provisional President

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godofredus

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In the recent trivia question 'who ran against Jeff Davis," many (including me) said no one - at least openly.
His election was unanimous both as provisional and permanent President.
There was some talk of Howell Cobb (Ga) Robert Toombs (SC) William Lowndes Yancey, (Alabama) , Alexander H. Stephens, (Ga) Robert Barnwell Rhett, (SC). I can't find any documentation that anyone "ran" against Davis, or was even actively considered.

The trivia master said Robert Toombs. Does anyone have any info substantiating this?
 

JeffBrooks

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Robert Toombs was the other most likely choice. He was actually more likely than Davis to get the nod until it became obvious that he couldn't hold his liquor. The others were long-shots.
 
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John Winn

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I'd not heard there were any real candidates but have often wondered why Breckenridge wasn't considered. After all, he had run on the pro-slavery Democratic ticket for president already and did become a general. Anybody have any ideas as to why he isn't mentioned ?
 

JeffBrooks

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I'd not heard there were any real candidates but have often wondered why Breckenridge wasn't considered. After all, he had run on the pro-slavery Democratic ticket for president already and did become a general. Anybody have any ideas as to why he isn't mentioned ?
Because Kentucky hadn't seceded, I guess. Same reason no one from Virginia, Tennessee, or North Carolina was considered.
 

cedarstripper

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In the recent trivia question 'who ran against Jeff Davis," many (including me) said no one - at least openly.
His election was unanimous both as provisional and permanent President.
There was some talk of Howell Cobb (Ga) Robert Toombs (SC) William Lowndes Yancey, (Alabama) , Alexander H. Stephens, (Ga) Robert Barnwell Rhett, (SC). I can't find any documentation that anyone "ran" against Davis, or was even actively considered.

The trivia master said Robert Toombs. Does anyone have any info substantiating this?
footnotes from A Diary From Dixie, Mary Chesnut, page 7:

1. Robert Toombs, a native of Georgia, who early acquired fame as a lawyer, served in the Creek War under General Scott, became known in 1842 as a "State Rights Whig," being elected to Congress, where he was active in the Compromise measures of 1850. He served in the United States Senate from 1853 to 1861, where he was a pronounced advocate of the sovereignty of States, the extension of slavery, and secession. He was a member of the Confederate Congress at its first session and, by a single vote, failed of election as President of the Confederacy. After the war, he was conspicuous for his hostility to the Union.

page 10:

1. Robert Woodward Barnwell, of South Carolina, a graduate of Harvard, twice a member of Congress and afterward United States Senator. In 1860, after the passage of the Ordinance of Secession, he was one of the Commissioners who went to Washington to treat with the National Government for its property within the State. He was a member of the Convention at Montgomery and gave the casting vote which made Jefferson Davis President of the Confederacy.
 
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Eagle eye

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On February 9, a constitutional convention met atMontgomery, Alabama and considered Davis and Robert Toombs of Georgia as a possible president. Davis, who had widespread support from six of the seven states, easily won. He was seen as the "champion of a slave society and embodied the values of the planter class," and was elected provisional Confederate President by acclamation.[78]
Cashin, Joan E. (2006). First Lady of the Confederacy: Varina Davis's Civil War. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. pp. 102–103.
 

diane

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I think those who mention Davis' office was provisional are correct, even though the trivia master is right too! Toombs was quite a candidate until the convention in Montgomery when he got snockered but good at the convention's supper party. A drunken episode can be forgiven but such poor judgement cannot! Davis was sober and appeared to be healthy - the other candidate of choice was Stephens. His frailty was sufficient to end all chance he had. Davis truly did not want the job and Toombs truly did - you can bet that was one morose hangover as he realized what he had done besides just embarrassing himself. Consequently, when elections rolled around, the country was at war and nobody wanted to switch horses in the middle of the stream - Davis and Stephens it was.
 
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ole

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I understood that Davis was a shoe-in well before Toombs embarrassed himself.

I question that he was defeated by a single vote.

I'll note that the source is Mary Chesnut's Diary. Is that a better source?
 

jgoodguy

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I understood that Davis was a shoe-in well before Toombs embarrassed himself.

I question that he was defeated by a single vote.

I'll note that the source is Mary Chesnut's Diary. Is that a better source?
How about the Journal of the Confederate Congress Vol 1

The Congress then proceeded to the election of a President and a Vice-President for the Provisional Government.
Mr. Curry moved that two tellers be appointed to conduct said election; which was agreed to.
Whereupon, the President appointed Mr. Curry and Mr. Miles as
tellers.
The vote being taken by States for President, the Hon. Jefferson
Davis, of Mississippi, received all the votes cast, being 6, and was
duly declared unanimously elected President of the Provisional Government.

On motion of Mr. Toombs, a committee of three was appointed to
inform Mr. Davis of his election
Emphasis mine.
 
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JeffBrooks

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The actual vote that took place was a formality and should not been looked upon as indicative of support for or opposition to Davis. The real work had been done in the hallways, bars, and hotel rooms in the days leading up to the vote.
 

28thNewYork

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I would maintain that on Feb. 9, the specific focus of the trivia question, no individual ran against Davis. Moreover, I would even question whether anyone ran. I do not concur with the trivia answer, but then no one asked me---
 
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I can't remember where I found it but I read somewhere-Ellen don't ask me for a source-jk-that NC, SC, Va, and Ga supported Toombs, whereas 4 other states supported Davis, but dirty politics entered the process and Davis got the nod.
 
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JeffBrooks

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I can't remember where I found it but I read somewhere-Ellen don't ask me for a source-jk-that NC, SC, Va, and Ga supported Toombs, whereas 4 other states supported Davis, but dirty politics entered the process and Davis got the nod.
North Carolina and Virginia didn't have delegates in Montgomery, as they had not seceded yet.
 
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North Carolina and Virginia didn't have delegates in Montgomery, as they had not seceded yet.
Anyway the southern states were divided between Davis and Toombs. The fact that Toombs was pro- unionist in the 40's and 50's and some dirty politics, jealousy, etc, maybe his little incident at the party, whatever he lost. He did however want to be the President of the Confederacy.
 
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