Who Was the Unhappiest President?

by UndergroundLibrarian@evpl on Friday, September 26 2008, 2:30pm. Viewed 1,242 times.

Two Miserable PresidentsAll U. S. Presidents have had their troubles, but Steve Sheinkin (yep, the same guy who wrote King George; What Was His Problem?) writes about two who were President at the same time.  When was that?  During the Civil War.  Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis had plenty of problems, and Sheinkin tells us about them in Two Miserable Presidents.  It's a really understandable accounting of the Civil War, full of stories of individual people, some important and some not so important, but all of them are worth reading.

  I knew there were women who disguised themselves as men and entered the army, but I hadn't heard of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, who joined the Confederate army as Harry T. Buford.  All went well until her fake mustache got soaked in a big drink of buttermilk and started to come off.  She spent the rest of the meal with "my hand up to my mouth all the time . . . doing my best to hold the mustache on." (p.70) As the war went on, both Presidents were getting lots of criticism from the press.  One Southern newspaper wrote that "Jefferson Davis now treats all men as if they were idiotic insects." (p.85)  And people in the North were so unhappy about the war going on and on that Lincoln feared he would not be reelected in 1864.

Quoting from inside the jacket cover, "Filled with surprising quotes, startling stories, and all the strange events that didn't make it into your textbook, this is history like you've never read it before: fast, frightening, and entirely true." 

Comments (1)

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on Tuesday, October 7 2008, 11:44am

It sounds like an interesting book. I knew that Jefferson Davis did not really want to be the President of the Confederacy, but it was sort of thrust upon him.

My husband is a Davis and nearly all the Davis' claim to be kin to Jefferson Davis. I have not proven this to be true for our family.