Name: Allen Turner Davidson 1 2 3
Reference Number: 1367
Burial: Riverside Cemetery (Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina)
Birth: 19 MAY 1819 in Johathan's Creek, Haywood County, North Carolina 1 2
Death: 24 JAN 1905 in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina 1 2
Allen Turner Davidson (1819-1905)
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In the above group photograph Jefferson Davis is in the center, with Allen Turner Davidson to the left.
For a brief biography of Allen Turner Davidson, lawyer, bank president, member of North Carolina Secession Convention, and colonel in the Haywood County militia, see A History of Buncombe County North Carolina, F. A. Sondley, LL.D. (1930) at 742-743.
Allen Turner Davidson (9 May 1819 - 24 January 1905), lawyer, Confederate congressman, and member of the Council of State, was born in Haywood County, the son of William Mitchell, a Burke County farmer, and Betsy Vance Davidson. His grandfather was Major was Major William Davidson, an officer in the American Revolution. Captain David Vance, also an officer in the Revolution, was his maternal grandfather. Both men fought as patriots. Young Davidson's mother was the aunt of Zebulon B. Vance. He was educated in the "old fields" schools of Haywood County and at Waynesboro Academy.
At the age of twenty, Davidson began working in his father's general store. The following year he was commissioned a colonel in the state militia. Shortly thereafter he began to study law under Michael Francis. In 1843, while still a student, he was appointed clerk and master of equity for Haywood County, an office from which he resigned in the spring of 1846. On 1 January 1845, he was admitted to the North Carolina bar and moved to Murphy to begin his law practice as a solicitor for Cherokee County.
In April 1860 Davidson was chosen president of the newly organized Miner's and Planter's Bank in Murphy. In October of the following year, as a Democrat, he was elected over two opponents as a member of the North Carolina Secession Convention. In June and July 1861 he served in the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy, and in 1862 he was elected to the House of Representatives of the Confederate Congress in Richmond, Virginia.
Davidson served his term with "quiet, but steady opposition to congressional encroachment on state or individual rights." From the outset, he allowed the Confederacy "full authority over matters of diplomacy, commerce, and transportation." He usually agreed to allow the "administration early, moderate requests, but resisted further requests for authority." However he made no allowances for financing the Confederacy or for recruiting and maintaining an army. He had been an "old Union" man, firmly opposed to secession. Opposing Davidson's group were the "original secessionists," those who had supported secession very early in the effort.
During his term in Congress, Davidson served on the Committee of Post Offices and Post Roads and the Committee of the Quartermaster's and Commissary Department. In 1863, he lost his seat to George W. Logan. Davidson's tact and moderation were not enough to please his constituents. Most North Carolinians, especially those in the western part of the state, were disgusted with the war. Logan, who called for peace at any cost, more nearly pleased the people in his district. After this election, although active in public affairs, Davidson never again held public office.
In 1864, North Carolina Governor Zebulon B. Vance named Davidson to the Council of State and an agent of the Commissionary [Commissary] Department of the State. until the end of the war it was Davidson's duty to provide necessary goods for the widows of Confederate soldiers of western North Carolina.
Late in 1865, Davidson moved to Franklin in Macon County. Nearly four years later, early in 1869, he moved to Asheville. After this move, he rose to the top of his profession in western North Carolina and became president of the Asheville Bar Association. His record as a criminal lawyer was excellent; not one of the fifty-seven clients he defended in murder cases was executed. He retired in 1885.
Davidson married Elizabeth A. Howell in 1842; she was described as an "educated, Christian Lady who greatly assisted him in his professional and life work." They had four sons: Allen Turner, Jr., a teacher, school superintendent, and lawyer in Amarillo, Texas, who died at the age of twenty-seven; T. F., an attorney general of North Carolina; Wilbur S. a cashier of the National Bank of Beaumont, Texas; and Robert Vance, a lawyer in Galveston, Texas. The Davidsons also had three daughters.
Davidson was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, a Royal Arch Mason, and a stockholder in the First National Bank of Beaumont, Texas, and in the North Georgia Railroad. After his retirement, he lived with his son T. F. Davidson of Asheville. He died in Asheville where he was buried in Riverside Cemetery.
See: Samuel A. Ashe, Cyclopedia of Eminent and Representative Men of the Carolinas in the Nineteenth Century (1892); John L. Cheney, ed., North Carolina Government, 1885-1979 (1981); Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (1924); John Gilchrist McCormick, "Personnel of the Convention of 1861," James Sprunt Historical Monographs 1 (1900); Ezra J. Warner and W. Buck Yearns, Biographical Register of the Confederate Congress (1975).
Source: Joyce, Janis Bridges. "Allen Turner Davidson." Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Volume 2 D-G. William S. Powell, Editor. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986. Pages 23-24. Print.
The following is from The Heritage of Old Buncombe County, Doris Cline Ward, Editor (1981) at 82 (Article #60, "Allen Turner Davidson" by Luther W. Shaw):
Among the historic portraits in the Buncombe County Courthouse is the adjacent one of Allen Turner Davidson, a nephew of Samuel Davidson, the first white settler in Western North Carolina (killed by Cherokees and buried on Jones Mountain). A. T. Davidson was born May 9, 1819 on Johathan's Creek in Haywood County. He began his career as a clerk in his father's Waynesville store and in 1843 became clerk and master of equity of Haywood County. He began the practice of law in 1845, later moving to Murphy where he served for some 12 years as a criminal lawyer. For a time he was solicitor of Cherokee County and was later made president of the Miners and Planters Bank of Murphy.
In 1861, he became a member of the N. C. Secession Convention and was named a delegate to the Confederate Provincial Government. A year later he became a member of the House of Representatives of the Confederate States. After the Civil War, he moved to Franklin and in 1869, to Asheville, where he died January 24, 1905. When only 21 years old, Davidson was elected a colonel in the militia of Haywood County and afterwards was always known as Colonel Davidson. There is no clue as to the identity of the artist.
He was born on Jonathan's creek, Haywood county, May 9, 1819. His father was William Mitchell Davidson and his mother Elizabeth Vance of Burke county, a daughter of Captain David Vance of Revolutionary fame. William Davidson, first senator from Buncombe county and a soldier of the Revolutionary War, was the father of William Mitchell Davidson, and a cousin of Gen. William Davidson who was killed at Cowan's Ford. Col. Allen T. Davidson attended the country schools of his day, and at twenty years of age he was employed in his father's store at Waynesville, and in 1842 married Miss Elizabeth A. Howell. He began the study of law, and in 1843 became clerk and master in equity of Haywood county, being admitted to the bar in 1845. In 1846 he removed to Murphy, Cherokee county, then a remote backwoods place. He at once took a leading place at the bar of the western circuit, and during his sixteen years residence there served as solicitor of Cherokee county, and became one of the leading lawyers of this section.
In April, 1860, he became president of the Merchants and Miners Bank. The secession convention of him one of the delegates from Macon county to congress of the Southern Confederacy. He served out the provisional term and was elected in 1862 a member of the permanent congress, serving till the spring of 1864, being succeeded the late Judge G. W. Logan of Rutherford county. In 1864-65 he served as a member of the council of Governor Vance, and at the same time acted as agent of the commissary department of the State in supplying the families of Confederate soldiers in this section. In the fall of 1865 he settled in Franklin, Macon county, and in 1869 he came to Asheville to live, buying and occupying the Morrison house, which stood where the present county court house stands. He soon became leader of the Asheville bar, and continued in active practice till 1885, when he retired. He died at Asheville, January 24, 1905.
Source: Western North Carolina: A History from 1730-1913, John Preston Arthur (1914) at 400-403.
Allen Turner Davidson, another grandson of Colonel David Vance, and a grandson of Major William Davidson, who was one of the first settlers in Buncombe County and lived at the mouth of Bee Tree Creek, was the son of William Mitchell Dlividson and was born on Jonathan's Creek in Haywood County, North Carolina, May 9, 1819. Clerking for a time at the store of his father in Waynesville, in 1843 he became Clerk and Master in Equity of Haywood County and began the practice of law on January 1, 1845. He removed to Murphy in Cherokee County of the same State where for about twelve years he engaged in an extensive practice as a lawyer and was particularly distinguished as an advocate in criminal law. He was solicitor of that county and in April, 1860, was made president of the Miners and Planters Bank of Murphy.' In 1861 he was a member of the North Carolina Secession Convention and a delegate therefrom to the Confederate Provisional Government. And in 1862 he became a member of the House of Representatives of the Confederate States. He removed to Franklin, Macon County, in 1865, and to Asheville in 1869, where he died. Before he was twenty-one years old he was a colonel in the militia of Haywood County. His death was on January 24, 1905.
Source: Source: Asheville and Buncombe County, F. A. Sondley (1922) at 129-130.
?Reminiscences of Western North Carolina,? Colonel Allen T. Davidson. Published in The Lycemu, a monthly Asheville newspaper that had a short life (May 1890 until some time in 1892).
Date: 1993 to 2000
Title: URBAN TRAIL
Creator: URBAN TRAIL COMMITTEE
Description: This folder contains photographs of Station 24 of the Asheville Urban Trail. The trail is named "Man and Mountain."
?Man and Mountain? is located near the courthouse. It consists of a bronze plaque with mountains. For the early settlers to the area, the mountains were both lure and barrier. The plaque honors Allen Turner Davidson (1819-1905), Confederate congressman and lawyer and Cherokee ally who lived on the present courthouse site. The dedication was held September 4, 1998. Folder contains one photo of people walking near the plague. Donors listed on dedication program are Dorothy Acee, Ann Beasley, Mariella Dumont, Betty Johnson, Ben Jones, Addie Mann, David Miller, Bill Miller, Betty Powers, Jane Rouse, Allen Williamson, Lib Williamson, and Jean Webb.
Source: Pack Memorial Library North Carolina Collection
Colonel Allen T. Davidson: Colonel Davidson was one of the ablest lawyers who ever practiced in Western North Carolina. He served on the Confederate senate and it was while he was serving in this capacity in Richmond he met Colonel Belo. At the time of their registration at Sherrill?s Inn, Colonel Belo was visiting Colonel Davidson. Colonel Davidson was the father of General Theodore Davidson. Mrs. W. B. Williamson, Mrs. T. S. Morrison. Colonel Belo?s granddaughter married Colonel Davidson?s grandson, Allen Morrison, and now lives in Asheville.
Source: Manuscript Register for Sherrill's Inn Collection, D. Hiden Ramsey (Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville (M94.1.1, M94.1.2)).
Will Book: Page 479: I, Allen T. Davidson, of the City of Asheville, do make and declare this my last Will and Testament ... I wish and will to provide for the payment of all the expenses of the last sickness traveling expenses and all and every thing connected with the last sickness and death of my dear and lamented son, Allen T. Davidson, Jr. the same having been paid by his brothers, Theodore F., Wilbur S. and Robert V. Davidson ...my son, William E. Davidson. Signed: A. T. Davidson, October 4th, 1898. Amendment: ...to my oldest daughter, Ella K. Morrison ... my grandson, Allen Davidson Williamson. Signed A. T. Davidson. Witness my hand and seal, this the 2nd day of February, 1905. Signed: Marcus Erwin, CSC.
"I offer to give to the County to be used for a site for a Court house and County offices the land on College Street in Asheville which I purchased of Col. A.T. Davidson provided that the County will dedicate to the public forever to be used for the purposes of a public square so called, in Asheville, the present Court House, to be removed, there from prior to such date as you may agree upon with Judge Merrimon and Mr. Gwyn acting for me.
1850 United States Federal Census
Name: Allen T Davidson
Estimated birth year: abt 1819
Birth Place: North Carolina
Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Murphy, Cherokee, North Carolina
Family Number: 16
Household Members: Name Age
Allen T Davidson 31
Elizabeth N Davidson 26
Theadore F Davidson 5
Wilbur S Davidson 3
William E Davidson 1
Harriet F Shields 7
1860 United States Federal Census
Name: A T Davidson
Age in 1860: 41
Birth Year: abt 1819
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1860: Murphy, Cherokee, North Carolina
Post Office: Murphy
Household Members: Name Age
A T Davidson 41
E A Davidson 36
Ther F Davidson 15
W S Davidson 13
W E Davidson 11
Ella H Davidson 9
R V Davidson 7
Casa J Davidson 4
Billis M Davidson 1
1900 United States Federal Census
Name: Allen T Davidson
Home in 1900: Asheville Ward 2, Buncombe, North Carolina
Birth Date: May 1819
Birthplace: North Carolina
Relationship to Head of House: Head
Father's Birthplace: North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace: North Carolina
Spouse's name: Elizabeth A
Marriage Year: 1842
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 58
Residence : Asheville City, Buncombe, North Carolina
Household Members: Name Age
Allen T Davidson 81
Elizabeth A Davidson 76
Mary E Childs 41
Moses De Loche 42
Julia Blocker 36
Father: William Mitchell Davidson b: 02 JAN 1780 in "The Glades," Old Fort, North Carolina
Mother: Elizabeth Vance b: 23 MAR 1787
Elizabeth Adeline Howell b: 08 APR 1824 in Haywood County, North Carolina
12 OCT 1842
in Haywood, North Carolina 3
Davidson, Maj. A.T., married to Miss Elizabeth A. Howell, daughter of Col. N.G. Howell, all of Haywood County, Oct 12, 1842 (Messenger, Oct. 21, 1842).
Source: Marriage and Death Notices from Extant Asheville, N.C. Newspapers 1840-1870, An Index, Robert M. Topkins, Compiler and Editor (1977) (North Carolina Genealogical Society: 1983 Reprint Edition) at 12.
- Theodore Fulton Davidson b: 30 MAR 1845 in Haywood County, North Carolina
- Wilber Sevier Davidson b: 1847
- William Edwin Davidson b: 22 MAR 1849
- Ella Henrietta Davidson b: 30 MAR 1851 in Murphy, North Carolina
- Robert Vance Davidson b: 1853
- Cora I. Davidson b: 1856
- Mary Elizabeth Davidson b: 1859
- Allen Turner Davidson Jr. b: 1861
- Addie Lee Davidson b: 05 JUN 1864 in Anderson, South Carolina
- Wilburn E. Davidson b: 1877
- Details: A History of Buncombe County North Carolina, F. A. Sondley, LL.D. (1930) at 742
- Details: The Heritage of Old Buncombe County, Doris Cline Ward, Editor (1981) at 82 (Article #60, "Allen Turner Davidson" by Luther W. Shaw)
- Details: Marriage and Death Notices from Extant Asheville, N.C. Newspapers 1840-1870, An Index, Robert M. Topkins, Compiler and Editor (1977) (North Carolina Genealogical Society: 1983 Reprint Edition) at 12