Hector Davis (1816–1863) was one of Richmond’s large-scale traders, selling people from the 1840s until just before his death in 1863. In 1859 Davis sold slaves with a market value of more than $2.67 million, more than the value of all of the flour exported from Virginia that year, when Richmond had two of the largest mills in the country, and almost equal to the value of all of the tobacco exported from Virginia to other countries. Early in 1860, Davis and thirteen other men, many of them also slave traders, chartered the Traders Bank of Richmond, perhaps to assist with their trading. Davis served as president of the bank.
Davis never married, although like traders Robert Lumpkin and Silas Omohundro, he had a long-term relationship with an enslaved woman, who had four children in the 1850s, probably his. In his will, he left most of his money to his nieces and nephew, but also ordered that his “servant woman Ann” and her children be freed and sent out of the state and that $20,000 be invested for her and her children. At his death his estate was valued at $100,000.
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