Hector Davis was a prominentin Richmond in the years leading up to the (1861–1865). Born probably in Goochland County, Davis moved to Richmond sometime in the 1840s and established there a slave trading business. He ran a so-called jail, where enslaved men, women, and children were confined awaiting sale. In 1859 his auction house alone did business the value of which exceeded all the flour and equaled all the tobacco exported from Virginia that year. Early in 1860 he and thirteen other men chartered the Traders Bank of Virginia, with Davis serving as the president. Davis never married, but he had several children with an enslaved woman he owned, , whom he moved to Philadelphia about 1860 and freed in his will. Davis died in in 1863.