Two revealing letters, the first from Davis's term in the U.S. Senate representing Mississippi, the second while serving as Secretary of War under Pierce. The recipient Stephen Cocke (1800-1860) was a political friend and confidant, active in Mississippi state politics for two decades, serving as chancellor of that state from 1846 to 1853. The first letter offers his regrets at missing a chance to visit him, but Mississippi politics comes up, probably referring to the 1849 race for Governor for which John A. Quitman (1799-1858) was the Democratic Party candidate: "I think there will be an effort at Jackson to undermine me, [George R.] Clayton, [Joseph W.] Matthews, and Quitman, probably Jake Thompson will try their hand and you know the men and will have an opportunity to see the means which will be used."
In the later letter, Davis is considering a return to the Senate and seeks to deflect negative views: "Private correspondence has made me aware that your anticipations in relation to the political maneuvering of some of my nominal friends, but real enemies, have been entirely fulfilled. The same game which was played before has been attempted again as I learn it has been extensively represented that I was not willing to be elected to the Senate. And with a show of special regard, it is said I ought to be presented for a higher position. ... I would at this time repeat to you that I have no aspirations or wishes for any office not conferred by the state of Mississippi."