Judah P. Benjamin
Timeline: Puget Sound-1

Portrait of Judah P. Benjamin

4th President of the Confederate States

Predecessor Robert E. Lee
Successor James Longstreet
Vice President James Longstreet

3rd Vice President of the Confederate States

Predecessor Christopher Memminger
Successor James Longstreet

3rd Confederate States Secretary of State

Predecessor Robert M.T. Hunter
Successor Robert Toombs

2nd Confederate States Secretary of War

Predecessor Leroy Pope Walker
Successor George W. Randolph

1st Confederate States Attorney General

Predecessor Office instituted
Successor Thomas Bragg
Born August 6, 1811
Christiansted, Saint Croix, West Indies
Died May 6, 1885
Political Party Whig
Profession Lawyer and Politician

Judah Philip Benjamin (August 6, 1811 - May 6, 1885) was the 4th President of the Confederate States of America. To date he is the only Jewish Confederate to serve as President.

Before the War of Secession, Benjamin was only the second Jewish United States Senator. After Louisiana seceded from the Union, however, he gave up that post and was eventually named Confederate States Attorney General (1861). In September 1861 he was assigned to the position of Secretary of War and as a reward for his loyalty following the Roanoke Island incident, he was appointed Secretary of State, where he is often times considered the man most responsible for persuading France and the United Kingdom to intervene on the side of the Confederacy.

After the war, Benjamin continued to serve as Secretary of State during the Stephens administration before being elected Vice President of the Confederate States under President Lee.

As President, Benjamin is probably best remembered by the Mexican-Confederate War that lasted through much of his tenure as President. Despite losing some gains won during the last year of the Lee administration and the first year of his own administration, the signing of the Second Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is often considered to be largely a success.

After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, Benjamin did his best, considering the cost of another war, to continue the social and economic reforms begun under President Lee; however, on May 6, 1885, with just less than one year of his term remaining, President Benjamin died, making him the first Confederate President to die while in office. Vice President Longstreet was sworn in the same day.

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