Ned Davis


The mysterious Ned Davis lived in Albany during the last quarter of the eigthteenth century. At this point, we suspect that his life is distinct from that of the older Albany resident Edward Davis. We seek defining information on his origins and path to Albany.

Based on circumstantial informaton and on the following association, we believe he was an Afro Albanian.

In 1788, the second ward assessment roll valued the holdings of Ned Davis and William Pepper individually. Assessed separately on the next line was the notation "house they live in." In 1799, a modest house and lot in the first ward belonged to an individual who was described as "Edward Davis (negro)."

After that, his name has not been found during our search of community-based resources nor have we yet encountered him in our ongoing sweep of Internet-based resources.

Based on the above and on his association with William Pepper, we might infer that Ned Davis may have been an Afro Albanian. We have not found his name in the records of early Albany's churches. Thus, he may not have married and raised a family. However, the early Albany record exhibits many references to the surname "Davis."

Perhaps he was the other free person living in Pepper's Watervliet household in 1790 (the assessment roll taken two years earlier noted they lived together) and again in 1800.

In or after 1815, an Edward ("Uncle Ned") Davis was best known schoolteacher in the town of Covington, Wyoming County, NY.

With mostly unresolved and essential questions, we must move on for now.

this biography is barely a silhouette


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Ned Davis has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first opened: 8/8/12; posted 5/15/12