In 1809, on this day Confederate President Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Hodgkins Creek, Hardin County less than eight months after, and one hundred miles distance from, the more salubrious birthplace of his fellow Kentuckian Jefferson Davis. Despite these proximities, the distances in circumstance were huge, and Lincoln would depend upon the sponsorship of the Davis family for his entire adult life.
An unexpected PresidencyDue to their lack of prospects, and opposition to the practice of slavery, his father Thomas Lincoln decided to head north, to move the family across the Ohio river into Indiana. Their fortunes would be lost to history, but before they left, he sought out a wealthy family that was looking to settle in the south. One that would adopt a son who was so poor that he "only had friends".
In a contradiction of that era that is hard to understand in the modern age, Lincoln was effectively sold as a white slave to the Davis family, who then moved to a plantation in northern Mississippi. But in a triumph of expedience over principle that would foreshadow his whole career, the move worked out pretty well for him. Lincoln established himself as a Rail Road Lawyer before becoming involved in Whig politics. Meanwhile Jeff Davis served in the Mexican War as Colonel in the Missississippi Rifles before rising to the position of US Secretary of State for War.
Fate intervened on the eve of the civil war when Davis was arrested in Washington attempting to purchase one thousand rifles from the arms manufacturer Eli Whitney. A natural (if reluctant) candidate for Confederate President, the Constitutional Convention in Montgomery Alabama accepted the absent Davis recommendation that Lincoln was a more suitable leader due to his enhanced political skills. Instead, after his release, Davis would fill the office of Confederate Secretary of War, a position that ultimately he was far better suited to.