Furnifold McLendel Simmons (January 20, 1854 - April 30, 1940) was the 8th President of the Confederate States of America. Simmons was the first Confederate President since the War of Secession to see a new state admitted into the Confederacy. (Sequoyah)
From the beginning of his political career, Simmons was a staunch Fiscal and Social Conservative. As a member of the Confederate States House of Representatives and Confederate States Senate, Simmons generally opposed most of the Populist agenda in the state, which made him popular with the Conservative upper class, while his reputation as an ardent supporter of slavery made him equally as popular with the white middle and lower classes. As a member of the Senate, Simmons was one of only two congressmen from North Carolina to oppose the Eighth Amendment.
While running for President, Simmons ran a campaign that was desinged to appeal to "Anglo-Saxon blood", Simmons encouraged supporters to do whatever was necessary to maintain white governance, including taking violent action against potential black voters; this sort of intimidation, along with voting laws in most states that already made it difficult for Blacks to vote, allowed Simmons to win a landslide victory over incumbent Vice President Thomas Goode Jones in the 1903 Presidential Election, As President, he would go on to introduce disfranchisement legislation, including a national poll tax and literacy tests for potential voters. The legislation was aimed particularly at eliminating the rights of newly freed slaves, as a "Grandfather Clause" made it allowable for men not to meet the new requirements if they had an ancestor who had already voted.
Modern historians have a difficult time assessing Simmons' presidency. As a result of Simmons' fiscal policies, the Confederacy began to enter a period of relative economic prosperity that is laudable; however, his reprehensibly (though not incredibly radical for the time) racist views and policies are at the very least condemnable.