The Stamford Historical Society Presents
Portrait of a Family: Stamford through the Legacy of the Davenports
Abraham Davenport 1767–1837
The second Abraham of the Davenport family was born in Stamford October 30, 1767 and was son of Silas and Mary Webb Davenport. When he was 26 he married Polly Brown, just days before his birthday in 1793. The ceremony was performed in Stamford by the Rev. Daniel Smith of the First Congregational Church.
While Abraham served in no elected positions, he was Stamford’s Postmaster for the 26 years between April 1796 and May 1822. The post route at that time between New York and Boston passed through Stamford, New Haven and Saybrook, rather than by way of Hartford, as had previously been the case. In this capacity as Postmaster, Abraham maintained the new Stage House and Stage yard at the corner of East Main Street and Stage Street, where stage horses, passengers and the mails were handled.
Abraham’s work, lifestyle and lineage made him a prosperous Stamford citizen. His house boasted six smokes (chimneys) and one clock, (all taxable). He had a cow, a horse, five acres of clear pasture land and sixty-four acres of open land.
Abraham Davenport died in June 1837, survived by his wife, Polly. Polly died less than five years later, in January of 1842.
Shown in the exhibit:
Folded Letter Sheet written by Abraham Davenport, former postmaster of Stamford and addressed to William W. Ellsworth, member of Congress from Connecticut and future Governor of Connecticut. Davenport’s unsuccessful comments on his son’s qualifications and political activity in the hopes of securing a postmastership for him.
“Stamford May 4th 1829.
I believe my son, a prominent candidate and fully
qualified to fill the station, he having formerly
been my principle assistant – while Post Master, then
obtained a thorough practical knowledge of the
business, and whose politics are in harmony with the
present administration, he as also myself took sides
in the political controversy some five years since
in opposing the last administration under a conviction
that the measures adopted and pursued by Pres-
Adams & Clay were destructive to the best interests
of the country, in consequence of which rendered
ourselves offencive to the immediate relatives and
friends as we stood alone in the Town being
the only persons who came out openly and avowed them
selves friendly to the election of Genl. Andrew Jackson
to the Presidency. My son was very active at
the polls in endeavouring to procure votes for the
The Stamford Historical Society