Wednesday, November 27, 2019

1780 Document Payment for Stephen Davenport Deceased Connecticut Signed by Abraham Davenport

Abraham Davenport (1715 – November 20, 1789) born in Stanford, Connecticut son of John Davenport (1668-1730) and Elizabeth Morris (1675-1757) grandson of Reverend John Davenport (1597-1669/70) co-founder and Pastor of the Colony of New Haven Yale: A Short History
painted by Ralph Earl, 1788. Yale University Art Gallery
Committee of the Pay Table in Connecticut Also known as the Committee of Four during the Revolutionary War, the Committee of the Pay Table was responsible for handling military finances. The office changed names in 1788 becoming the Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts. Davenport was Judge of the Fairfield County Court at Fairfield and Danbury from 1768 to his death in 1789.
This receipt is from Heritage Collectors Society December 2, 1780 Payment to Stephen Davenport deceased 26 pounds, seven shillings, and six pence. signed by Abraham Davenport Transcription
"12/2/1780 Hartford Connecticut, rec'd of the Pay Table Committee, their order on the treasurer of this state, to secure the payment of 26 pounds 7 shillings 6 pence, the balance due to Stephen Davenport, Dec'd., on the first day of January last. Received for Mr. John/Jonathan?  Davenport, Adm. the said Stephen Davenport, 26 pounds 7 shillings 6 pence by Abraham Davenport.
I propose this is Stephen Davenport (1752-1777) son of John Davenport (1724-1756) and Deborah Ambler (1726-1807) grandson of John Davenport (1666-1742) and Sarah Bishop Brother John Davenport (1749-1820) administrator married to 1st Prudence Bell and 2nd Sarah Gaylord. I found a Stephen Davenport, school teacher, but not sure on his service record. A Big Thanks to Jane Wallace Wild for helping with transcription. The family lived at "Davenport Ridge" Stamford Connecticut 

A Supplement to The history and genealogy of the Davenport family, in England and America, from A. D. 1086 to 1850

More on Abraham Davenport-----During the Revolution Abraham Davenport was a staunch patriot, and served on the state committee of safety. He was a man of stern integrity and generous beneficence, and in times of scarcity and high prices sold the product of his farm to the poor at less than the current value. For some time he was a member of the executive council of Connecticut, for twenty five years he was a member of the state legislature, and state senator from 1766 till 1784. He also held the office of judge of the court of common pleas. When he was a member of the council in Hartford, on the dark day in 1780, it was proposed to adjourn, as some thought the day of judgment was at hand; but he objected, saying: "That day is either at hand or it is not: if it is not, there is no cause of adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish, therefore, that candles may be brought." From
Below is from Stanford Historical Society
Portrait of a Family: Stamford through the Legacy of the Davenports
A few lines composed on the dark day. May 19, 1780. [New Hampshire? 1780]

Digital Photograph. Steve Castagneto, Academy of Information Technology Stamford
Digital reproduction of a section of the mural painted in 1934 by Delos Palmer, a prolific Stamford artist, depicting Abraham Davenport standing before Governor Jonathan Trumbull on the famous Dark Day, the 19th of May, 1870. The nationally funded W.P.A. Federal Arts Project in Connecticut commissioned the mural during the Great Depression, as part of an effort to put artists to work embellishing public buildings.
John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem about the famous incident, "Abraham Davenport", first published in The Atlantic Monthly (May 1866).
John Greenleaf Whittier 1868:
“Abraham Davenport” from
Tent On The Beach
In the old days (a custom laid aside
With breeches and cocked hats) the people sent
Their wisest men to make the public laws.
And so, from a brown homestead, where the Sound
Drinks the small tribute of the Mianus,
Waved over by the woods of Rippowams,
And hallowed by pure lives and tranquil deaths,
Stamford sent up to the councils of the State
Wisdom and grace in Abraham Davenport. 'Twas on a May-day of the far old year
Seventeen hundred eighty, that there fell
Over the bloom and sweet life of the Spring
Over the fresh earth and the heaven of noon,
A horror of great darkness, like the night
In day of which the Norland sagas tell,
The Twilight of the Gods. The low-hung sky
Was black with ominous clouds, save where its rim
Was fringed with a dull glow, like that which climbs
The crater's sides from the red hell below.
Birds ceased to sing, and all the barnyard fowls
Roosted; the cattle at the pasture bars
Lowed, and looked homeward; bats on leathern wings
Flitted abroad; the sounds of labor died;
Men prayed, and women wept; all ears grew sharp
To hear the doom-blast of the trumpet shatter
The black sky, that the dreadful face of Christ
Might look from the rent clouds, not as He looked
A loving guest at Bethany, but stern
As Justice and inexorable Law.
Meanwhile in the old State House, dim as ghosts,
Sat the lawgivers of Connecticut,
Trembling beneath their legislative robes.
"It is the Lord's Great Day! Let us adjourn,"
Some said; and then, as if with one accord,
All eyes were turned to Abraham Davenport.
He rose, slow cleaving with his steady voice
The intolerable hush. "This well may be
The Day of Judgment which the world awaits;
But be it so or not, I only know
My present duty, and my Lord's command
To occupy till He come. So at the post
Where He hast set me in His providence,
I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face,
No faithless servant frightened from my task,
But ready when the Lord of the harvest calls;
And therefore, with all reverence, I would say,
Let God do His work, we will see to ours.
Bring in the candles." And they brought them in. Then by the flaring lights the Speaker read,
Albeit with husky voice and shaking hands,
An act to amend an act to regulate
The shad and alewive fisheries, Whereupon
Wisely and well spake Abraham Davenport,
Straight to the question, with no figures of speech
Save the ten Arab signs, yet not without
The shrewd dry humor natural to the man:
His awe-struck colleagues listening all the while,
Between the pauses of his argument,
To hear the thunder of the wrath of God
Break from the hollow trumpet of the cloud.
And there he stands in memory to this day,
Erect, self-poised, a rugged face, half seen
Against the background of unnatural dark,
A witness to the ages as they pass,
That simple duty hath no place for fear.

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