Bancroft Davis

Bancroft Davis

Infobox Ambassador
honorific-prefix =
name = Bancroft Davis
honorific-suffix =

imagesize = 200 px
caption = Bancroft Davis in his later years.
order = 9th
title = Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States
term_start = 1883
term_end = 1902
predecessor = William Tod Otto
successor = Charles Henry Butler
order2 = 7th, 9th & 14th
title2 = Assistant Secretary of State
term_start2 = March 25, 1869November 13, 1871
January 24, 1873
term_end2 = January 30, 1874
December 19, 1881July 7, 1882
predecessor2 = Frederick W. Seward
Charles Hale
Robert R. Hitt
successor2 = Charles Hale
John Cadwalader
John Davis
order3 = 13th
title3 = Envoy from the United States to Germany
term_start3 = 28 August 1874
term_end3 = 26 September 1877
president3 = Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
predecessor3 = George Bancroft
successor3 = Bayard Taylor
birth_date = birth date|1822|12|22
birth_place = Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
death_date = death date and age|1907|12|27|1822|12|22
death_place = Washington, DC, USA
restingplace =
restingplacecoordinates =
birthname = John Chandler Bancroft Davis
nationality = American
party = Republican
otherparty =
spouse =
partner =
relations = John Davis (father), Horace Davis (brother)
children =
residence =
alma_mater = Harvard University
occupation = Author, lawyer, politician
profession =
net worth =
cabinet =
committees =
portfolio =
religion =

website =
footnotes =

John Chandler Bancroft Davis, commonly known as Bancroft Davis (December 22, 1822–December 27, 1907) was an American lawyer, judge and diplomat.

Early life

Davis was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of John Davis, a Whig governor of Massachusetts, and was the older brother of congressman Horace Davis. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Davis, John Chandler Bancroft (1822-1907) | date= | publisher= | url = | work =Political Graveyard | pages = | accessdate = 2008-09-17 | language = ] He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in 1847. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=John Chandler Bancroft Davis | date= | publisher= | url = | work =American Law Encyclopedia Vol 3 | pages = | accessdate = 2008-09-17 | language = ]


In 1849, Davis became secretary of the American embassy in London and later its charg d'affaires. He practiced law in New York City and was the correspondent for "The Times" in London. Because of ill health, he retired from his law work in 1862, but in 1868 he was elected to the New York State Assembly.

Under President Ulysses S. Grant, he was Assistant Secretary of State in 1869-71 and again in 1873-74.

Between times he was a secretary of the commission which concluded the Treaty of Washington in 1871, to create a tribunal to settle the Alabama claims. He subsequently represented the United States at the tribunal, the Geneva Court of Arbitration, which met at Geneva on December 15, 1871. The American case was prepared and presented by him.

In 1874, he was appointed as the U.S. Minister to Germany, serving in that position until 1877. President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed him to be an associate judge on the United States Court of Claims on December 14, 1877.

For another special assignment at the State Department, he resigned from the Court of Claims in 1881 at the request of President Chester A. Arthur, who reappointed him to the court in 1882. He resigned again in 1883 to become Reporter of Decisions for the Supreme Court.


Bancroft Davis died in Washington, DC in 1907.


*(1847) "The Massachusetts Justice"
*(1871) "The Case of the United States Laid before the Tribunal of Arbitration at Geneva"
*(1873) "Treaties of the United States, with Notes" (new edition)
*(1893) "Mr. Fish and the Alabama Claims"
*(1897) "Origin of the Book of Common Prayer of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America"

ee also

*Davis political family


*"The United States Court of Claims : a history" / pt. 1. The judges, 1855-1976 / by Marion T. Bennett / pt. 2. Origin, development, jurisdiction, 1855-1978 / W. Cowen, P. Nichols, M.T. Bennett. Washington, D.C. : Committee on the Bicentennial of Independence and the Constitution of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1976 i.e. 1977-1978. 2 vols.

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