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Except maybe not exactly

He was The Legal Genealogist‘s cousin, that David Davenport of North Carolina.

In one line, a first cousin four times removed. In another, a second cousin five times removed. Descended from a Baker cousin and surrounded by Baker and Davenport and Wiseman kin, he was born and married and lived and died in western North Carolina.1

And he’s the one I mentioned yesterday in talking about the Confederate amnesty records. The one who served as postmaster of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, during the Civil War and whose service as a postmaster meant he had to apply for a special Presidential pardon to regain all of his rights after the war ended.2

David’s application is a masterpiece:

The petition of David Davenport a citizen of Mitchell County, State of North Carolina aged forty six years, by occupation a farmer, respectfully Showeth unto your Excellency, That he held the Office of Post Master at Spruce Pine Post Office in said County, under the so called Confederate States. The holding of which office, according to your Excellency’s proclamation, deprives him of the privilege of taking the Oath of Amnesty.


David Davenport oathYour petitioner would further show that he did not accept said office for the purposes of aiding the rebellion; but that he accepted it to keep out of the rebel army and for no other purpose.


Your petitioner would further show that he has ever been a Union man and opposed to the rebellion, that he rejoices at the restoration of the Union that it is his desire and ever has been to live a loyal and faithful citizen of the United States.


Your petitioner does therefore pray that Your Excellency will duly consider his case and he humbly asks Executive Clemency.


Your petitioner as in duty bound ever prays.


/s/ David Davenport3

And, of course, it worked.

On the 9th of November 1865, President Andrew Johnson issued a full pardon and amnesty to David, “for all offenses by him committed, arising from participation, direct or implied, in the said rebellion.”4

By then my cousin had already signed the required oath — as you see here — and all was hunky dory again between David and the Union.

Of course, the records suggest that David may have been just a wee bit more involved with the Confederacy than he suggested. The civilian files of the Confederacy contain a voucher and receipt for eight head of beef cattle he supplied to the Confederate Quartermaster in 1862.5

And another for 43 barrels of corn later that year.6

And another for the hire of a six mule team and driver for 20 days in August 1862 transporting stores from Port Gibson MS to Port Hudson LA.7

And one for a sorrel horse in 1863.8

And another 34 bushels of corn and 1895 pounds of fodder in April 1863.9

Oh, and another for 530 pounds of fodder in 1864.10

Ever a Union man, right, David?

Except … maybe … not exactly…


  1. See generally John Scott Davenport, “Five-Generations Identified from the Pamunkey Family Patriarch, Namely Davis Davenport of King William County,” PDF, pp. 19, 28, in The Pamunkey Davenport Papers: The Saga of the Virginia Davenports Who Had Their Beginnings in or near Pamunkey Neck, CD-ROM (Charles Town, W.Va.: Pamunkey Davenport Family Association, 2009). See also Davenport Cemetery, Mitchell County, North Carolina, David Davenport marker and memorial; digital image, Find A Grave ( : accessed 8 Dec 2017).
  2. See Judy G. Russell, “Begging your pardon,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 8 Dec 2017 ( : accessed 9 Dec 2017).
  3. U.S. National Archives, Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons (“Amnesty Papers”), 1865-67, entry for David Davenport of North Carolina, microfilm publication M1003, roll 38, (Washington, D.C. : NARA, 1977); digital images, ( : accessed 7 Dec 2017).
  4. Pardon, David Davenport of North Carolina, 9 November 1865, “Pardons Under Amnesty Proclamations, compiled 1865–1869,” ( : accessed 9 Dec 2017), citing General Records of the Department of State, 1763–2002, Record Group 59, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
  5. U.S. National Archives, Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, compiled 1874 – 1899, documenting the period 1861 – 1865, voucher to David Davenport, North Carolina, 10 June 1862, microfilm publication (Washington, D.C. : National Archives & Records Service, 1982); digital images, ( : accessed 7 Dec 2017).
  6. Ibid., 5 Aug 1862.
  7. Ibid., 31 Dec 1861.
  8. Ibid., 5 Jan 1863.
  9. Ibid., 22 Apr 1863.
  10. Ibid., 3 Sep 1864.
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