My Contribution: I was the first African American to graduate as valedictorian from Dickinson Law School. I became a well-known attorney and trial lawyer who fought for Black rights in Harrisburg, Baltimore, and elsewhere.
My Legacy: I was an ambassador for people of color in law, politics, and advocacy work in Harrisburg, the mid-Atlantic, and the United States as a whole. I fought for Black rights in capital murder cases. And I was a pioneer for Black Democratic activism.
In My Words: “The law offers a most attractive (spot) for colored men. We get a fair show in the courts and the people appreciate our efforts” Afro-American Newspaper, March 11, 1921.
“It is time that we look after our own political affairs, and not entrust them to whites who are indifferent to our wellfare” Afro-American Newspaper, July 29, 1921.
Full Name: James Steward Davis
Birth Date: October 11, 1890
Death Date: Disappeared in 1929
Place of Birth: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Race: Black (1920 Federal Census)
Places of Residence: 418 South Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; 1400 Jefferson Street and 1202 Madison Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland.
Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Resident.
Family Members: Wife: Blanche Moore Davis. Children: Suzanne and Blanche Davis.
Education: Harrisburg High School graduate. Dickinson College 1916 (first in class).
Church Membership: Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church (Sunday school assistant superintendent).
Activism: The Bar Association of Baltimore City.
Connections: Matilda Stuart (grandmother).