On Februrary 22, 1862, Jefferson Davis gave his inauguration address in front of George Washington’s statue on the grounds of the Virginia State Capitol. The year before he was elected provisional president of the Confederate States of American in Montgomery, Alabama. The inauguration of President Jefferson Davis in February 1862 was after the Confederate Constitution had been established and the executive branch and presidency had been firmly established. Davis was to serve a six-year term as president, although as history would relate, the war ended before that.
The symbolism of choosing the 22nd was further magnified by the opening paragraph of the inauguration speech given by Davis.
“On this the birthday of the man most identified with the establishment of American independence, and beneath the monument erected to commemorate his heroic virtues and those of his compatriots, we have assembled to usher into existence the Permanent Government of the Confederate States. Through this instrumentality, under the favor of Divine Providence, we hope to perpetuate the principles of our revolutionary fathers. The day, the memory, and the purpose seem fitly associated.”
Today we celebrate the 280th birthday of our “Founding Father” George Washington. However, 150 years ago today Jefferson Davis was using America’s First Citizen to inspire a Second American Revolution. What would our “Founding Father” have thought about that?