Hudson Strode, who wrote a sympathetic biography on Jefferson Davis, says:" Davis was a Jeffersonian Democrat, dedicated to the principle of States Rights under the Constitution. He had inherited his ideas on politics from his father and George Washington."
As the leading Southerner in Congress in the late 1850's, he struggled to save the Union and its federal principles as much as he later struggle to save the South. Hudson Strode quoted Horace Greeley, who in 1858 declared, "Mr. Davis is unquestionably the foremost man in the South today".
Though a reluctant secessionist himself, when the Southern States seceded in 1861, Jefferson Davis was the unanimous choice of the Confederate Convention for President. Professor Strode goes on to say:"Jefferson Davis was a President without precedent. He formed a brand new nation in the cauldron of a terrible war...It was far easier to be chief executive of a powerful, established country (Lincoln) than to create a nation with few resources but cotton and courage".
After Hudson Strode's understanding biography of Jefferson Davis appeared, Bruce Catton wrote: "Davis finally becomes a possession of the whole country and not just a section." Strode adds, The place of Jefferson Davis in American history as the first and only President of the Confederate States of America is unique."