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Jehu Davis (abt. 1738 - 1802)

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Jehu (John) Davis
Born about in Worcester County, Marylandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1763 in Laurel, Little Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Delawaremap
Descendants descendants
Father of
Died in Milford, Mispillion Hundred, Kent County, Delawaremap
Profile last modified 28 Aug 2019 | Created 29 Mar 2014 | Last significant change: 28 Aug 2019
02:46: SJ Baty edited the Biography for Jehu Davis (abt.1738-1802). (updated categories and project box for Delaware) [Thank SJ for this]
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Preceded by
8th President
Thomas Collins
Jehu (John) Davis
9th President
of Delaware
1789
Succeeded by
10th President
Joshua Clayton

Contents

Biography

Flag of Delaware
John McKinly is a part of Delaware History

John (Jehu) 'The Honorable' Davis

Born

1738 in Worcester County, Maryland

Death

Death:
Cause: Died of apoplexy
Date: 2 JUN 1801
Place: Milford, Mispillion Hundred, Kent County, Delaware

Residence

Residence: "Mcsparron", three miles west of Milford
Place: Milford, Kent County, Delaware

Burial

Burial:
Date: JUN 1801
Place: Milford, Kent County, Delaware

FSFTID

FSFTID LH8K-VFB

Note

Note: BIRTH: 1775- Per DAR Patriot Index... Jehu Davis, born 25 June 1745 in Delaware;
1/m to Rhoda Lewis; 2/m to Melissa Douglas. (DAR, p 775)
Davis lived and married in Laurel, Sussex Co., DE. He later moved to Milford, Kent Co., DE and began farming. He was a member of the local militia during the Revolution.
He was Justice of the Peace from 1777-1791. He was politically a Federalist. His religion was Episcopalian.
Davis was elected to the 1st General Assembly of Delaware in 1776. He was Speaker of the House from 1788-Dec. 31, 1789. He served as the ninth President (Governor) of Delaware from March 29, 1789 to June 2, 1789(13th General Assembly) due to the death of President Thomas Collins in office. Was also Chief Magistrate (Judge) in Milford 1789-1802. His home west of Milford was known as McSparren.
Jehu Davis was not only a judge, he served in the Delaware General Assembly and is listed as the ninth President of Delaware (before there were Governors) on the State's web site(http://www.state.de.us/facts/history/delgov1.htm). This is documented in a book entitled "A History of Delaware Through its Governors 1776-1984"written in 1984 by Roger Martin.
Was serving as a member of the Delaware House of Representatives by October of 1777, and won re-election on a number of occasions. Also was acting as Justice of the Peace for Kent County by March of 1785. Chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1788, and in that capacity served as Acting President of Delaware from March to May of 1789, between the death of Thomas Collins and the inauguration of Joshua Clayton.
Davis's brief administration lasted only long enough for the General assembly to convene in order to choose a successor to the deceased Collins. Late in May 1789 the legislatures selected Joshua Clayton as a replacement, and on the thirtieth of that month, Davis relinquished the presidency. During Davis' two month tenure, Delawareans witnessed the arrival of George Washington in Wilmington, en route to New York and his inauguration as president of the United States. Washington's appearance caused considerable excitement; as one eyewitness later recounted, the sight of the revolutionary hero in his chariot encouraged the crowd to respond with "enthusiastic cheers".
Early in 1790, following his service as chief executive, Davis received an appointment as Fourth Justice of the Kent County Court of Common Pleas and Orphans' Court. He was also renamed Justice of the Peace for Kent County in September 1793, and became the Commissioner of the Kent County Land Office in February of 1794.
DEATH: Davis died on May 11, 1802 in Milford, DE. He was buried in 1802 in Milford, DE. Died of apoplexy and was buried in the graveyard of Christ Church, also known as Savannah Church because of the swampy terrain it was built on. The church was located on Davis' property west of Milford. The church was abandoned in 1835 and Rt. 14 was later paved over the graveyard.
Find A Grave: Memorial #7880739


Event

Event:
Type: Alt. Birth
Date: 25 JUN 1745
Place: Little Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware[1]
Event: Savannah Church Cemetery (Defunct)
Type: Burial Place
Date: JUN 1801
Place: Milford, Kent County, Delaware
Note:
Christ Church Churchyard, Also Known As Savannah Church, The Church Was Located On Davis' Property.
The site of this cemetery was later paved over by Delaware Route 14.[2]
Event:
Type: Alt. Death
Date: 2 JUN 1802
Place: Milford, Kent County, Delaware
Event:
Type: Move
Place: Kent County, Delaware
Event:
Type: Move
Place: Sussex County, Delaware

Occupation

Occupation: 9th President of Delaware
Date: 29 MAR 1789
Place: Delaware
Occupation: Farmer
Place: Kent County, Delaware
Occupation: Judge
Place: Delaware
Occupation: Delaware General Assembly (Speaker of the House)
Place: Delaware

Professional and political career

During Davis' short term George Washington was inaugurated the first President of the United States. The event of his passing through Wilmington on the way to New York for this ceremony caused a great deal of excitement, as described by Elizabeth Montgomery in her Reminiscences of Wilmington:
"and it must have been soon after his elevation to that office, for I well remember the crowds of people rushing onto the Baltimore Road (now Maryland Avenue) to catch a glimpse as he passed...It was a day of great enjoyment, all was on tiptoe of expectation when his chariot appeared, driving slowly through the crowd, he bowing, hat in hand, and white handkerchief waving, and every face flushed, and sparkling with joy."

Afterwards, Davis served as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas from 1789 until 1792 and as a justice of the peace from 1793 until his death.

Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while President)
Year Assembly Senate Majority Speaker House Majority Speaker
1788/89 13th non-partisan George Mitchell non-partisan vacant
[3]
Will:
Date: 17 JUN 1801
Place: Proved
Note: 1800- 1 Jan, Jehu writes Will. (DPA/probate, Reel 2 frame 624)
1801- Kent County Book O p 27-28...Will dated 1 Jan 1800...proved 17 June
1801. Will of Jehu Davis to wife, who was unnamed. However, administration
was given to Sarah. She would have been his second wife. Sons: Isaac,
John, and Henry. Daughters: Rhoda Hill, Sarah Clark, and Nancy Hazzard. He
died at the age of 63 from apoplexy. He had 4 sons and 3 daughters.
Prince, a faithful servant of his father, Thomas was a nurse to his
children. (Hart, p 13/from Autobiography of Judge Isaac Davis)
- Proved 17 Jun 1801 By this the testator desires in severalty to his
2 sons Henry and John all his lands. His desire to Henry is thus... Item: To
my son Henry I give and bequeath my home place with all its appenditures
including the whole of my lands except the tract already mentioned for my
son John.... There was a residency clause in these words..."And lastly the
remainder and residue of my goods and chattle and personal estate whatever
that is not mentioned in legacy or otherwise here to fore in my will I give
and bequeath to my son Henry
whome I [constitute] my Executor... The testator names his children: Isaac,
Sarah Clark, John, Henry, Rhoda, and Nancy Hazzard. Now by the Deed alone
above recited it will be seen that 3 [ ] - Rhoda, Nancy, and two children of
Sarah joined in the Conveyance this was all except John and one of the
children of Sarah. To his son, John the testator had devised a tract of
land other then that devised to Henry.
In neither of these desires was there any expressed desire in fee simple
by the use of the word "heir" or any [ ] express words denoting inheritance.
This doubtless gave rise to the [ ] that only a life estate was given to
Henry which it was the purpose of the Deed above mentioned to correct. Now
where in the devise of land, it is not given for life and where there is no
residuary devise of that land either in general terms or by Specific
resignation and where there is otherwise nothing in the will to show to the
contrary, it is a rule of law that a personal change on the
devise will be constituded to mean that the Testator intended the devises to
take a fee simple. Otherwise by being compelled to pay money he might be
injured instead of being benefited. Here there is a residuary bequest, but
it is confused to personally and has no relation to his land or if it has
then Henry is that residuary desiree....
After the devise to Henry of the land there is the beqest "Item to my
daughter Rhoda Hill I give and bequeath also fifty pounds S pieces to be paid
by my son Henry in the space of two years after my decease" And in the
matter of John there was this bequest "To my daughter Sarah Clark I give and
bequeath forty pounds to be paid by my son John"
The last paragraph gave more explainations as to the validity of the will.
(DPA/RG 3555/kc arch deed 1680-1930, Reel 2, frame 624)

Sources

  1. Source: #S911 Page: page 13 TMPLT FIELD Name: Page VALUE page 13 Quality or Certainty of Data: 3 QUAL Information: P Note: from Autobiography of Judge Isaac Davis
  2. Source: #S985 Page: accessed 16 Jun 2012), Jehu Davis TMPLT FIELD Name: Page VALUE accessed 16 Jun 2012), Jehu Davis Quality or Certainty of Data: 3 QUAL Information: P Data: Text: John (Jehu) Davis (1738 May 11, 1802) was an American planter and politician from Mispillion Hundred, in Kent County, Delaware, west of Milford. He served in the Delaware General Assembly and as President of Delaware. CONT CONT Early life and family CONT CONT Davis was born in Worcester County, Maryland, son of Thomas Davis. His paternal grandfather was born in Wales. Jehu Davis came to Laurel, Delaware where he married Rhoda Laws. After their marriage they bought McSparren, a farm in Mispillion Hundred, 3 miles west of Milford, where they settled permanently. There they had eight children, Isaac, John, Henry, Sarah, Rhoda, Nancy, Joshua, and William. After Rhoda's death, Davis married Sarah Douglas. They were members of Christ Episcopal Church in Milford. That portion of Mispillion Hundred became Milford Hundred in 1830. CONT Professional and political career CONT CONT Davis was a member of the local militia during the American Revolution and a Justice of the Peace for 14 years beginning in 1777. He was elected to the 1st State House, or House of Assembly, and served ten terms from the 1776/77 session through the 1779/80 session, again in the 1782/83 and 1783/84 sessions, and finally from the 1786/87 session through the 1789/90 session. He was the Speaker in the 1788/89 session and when President Thomas Collins died in office on March 29, 1789, the Speaker's office in the State Senate or Legislative Council, was vacant. Consequently, Davis became President. He served until June 2, 1789, when the Delaware General Assembly held a special vote to choose Collins' replacement. CONT CONT During Davis' short term George Washington was inaugurated the first President of the United States. The event of his passing through Wilmington on the way to New York for this ceremony caused a great deal of excitement, as described by Elizabeth Montgomery in her Reminiscences of Wilmington: CONT CONT "and it must have been soon after his elevation to that office, for I well remember the crowds of people rushing onto the Baltimore Road (now Maryland Avenue) to catch a glimpse as he passed...It was a day of great enjoyment, all was on tiptoe of expectation when his chariot appeared, driving slowly through the crowd, he bowing, hat in hand, and white handkerchief waving, and every face flushed, and sparkling with joy." CONT CONT Afterwards, Davis served as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas from 1789 until 1792 and as a Justice of the Peace from 1793 until his death. CONT Death and legacy CONT CONT Davis died at McSparren, in Mispillion Hundred and is buried in the Christ (Savannah) Episcopal Church Cemetery. The cemetery is now paved over by Delaware Route 14. CONT CONT No known portrait of Jehu Davis exists. CONT Almanac CONT CONT Elections were held October 1 and members of the General Assembly took office on October 20 or the following weekday. State Assemblymen had a one year term. The whole General Assembly chose the State President for a three year term. However, Davis served as State President only temporarily, filling the vacancy created by the death of Thomas Collins and awaiting the selection of a successor by the General Assembly. Judges of the Courts of Common Pleas were also selected by the General Assembly for the life of the person appointed.
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehu_Davis

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