Davenport, Charles Benedict
- Garland E. Allen
Davenport, Charles Benedict (01 June 1866–18 February 1944), geneticist, eugenicist, and science administrator, was born at his family’s farm, “Davenport Ridge,” near Stamford, Connecticut, where four generations of Davenports had lived, the son of Amzi Benedict Davenport, a real estate agent, and his second wife, Jane Joralemon Dimon. Because of the nature of his father’s business, the family spent winters in Brooklyn. Davenport’s mother, a religious skeptic and avid naturalist, helped cultivate these characteristics in her son. His father’s stern and uncompromising Protestantism was also a strong influence, and young Charles was tutored at home where he could learn the values of discipline and hard work and also serve as janitor and errand boy for his father’s business. Davenport developed a quiet, even taciturn demeanor, but from an early age he communicated voluminously in journals and diaries....