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Alexander M. Davis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 5, 1874
Preceded by Richard T.W. Duke
Succeeded by Christopher Thomas
Member of the Virginia Senate from Grayson, Carroll and Wythe Counties
In office
1869–1871
Preceded by District established
Succeeded by Abner W. C. Nowlin
Personal details
Born January 17, 1833
Old Mount Airy, Wythe County, Virginia
Died September 25, 1889(1889-09-25) (aged 56)
Independence, Virginia
Political party Democratic
Other political
affiliations
Conservative Party of Virginia (1869–1871)
Spouse(s) Mary Jane Dickenson Davis (1848 - 1896)
Alma mater Emory and Henry College
Profession lawyer
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Branch/service Confederate Army
Years of service 1861–1865
Rank Lieutenant colonel
Unit 45th Virginia Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War

Alexander Mathews Davis (January 17, 1833 – September 25, 1889) was a nineteenth-century politician and lawyer from Virginia.

Early and family life

Born in Old Mount Airy, Virginia, Davis attended the old field schools and was privately tutored as a child. He later attended and graduated from Emory and Henry College, then read law.

He married Mary Jane Dickenson Davis (1848 - 1896), daughter of Col. John Dickenson of Grayson County (and for whom Dickenson County was named upon its creation in 1880). They would have at least three sons: Albert Conley Davis (1869 - 1893), Joseph C Davis (1871 - 1888) and James Garnett Davis (1873 - 1931).

Career

Admitted to the bar in 1854, Davis began his private legal practice in Wytheville, Virginia, and later moved to Independence, Virginia.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Davis served in the Confederate Army as captain of Company C of the 45th Regiment, Virginia Infantry in 1861. He earned a promotion to major in 1862 and another to lieutenant colonel in 1864. Captured near the end of the war, he was held prisoner on Johnson's Island in Lake Erie.

After his release, Davis was elected to the Virginia Senate, and served from 1869 to 1871, when he was succeeded by fellow Confederate veteran Abner W. C. Nowlin. The following year Davis ran as a Democrat for the United States House of Representatives. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 50.55% of the vote, defeating Republican Christopher Yancy Thomas. However, Thomas successfully contested the result and was seated in March 1874. Afterward, Davis resumed practicing law in Independence, Virginia

Death and legacy

Davis died on September 25, 1889, and was interred in the Davis Family Cemetery. Some of his family's papers are held in the special collections at the College of William and Mary.

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