James Davidson was born in Tewksbury, MA on January 12, 1752. His parents, John McNutt and Sarah McNutt Davidson, relocated James and his three siblings to Windham in May of 1752. He grew up on the property purchased by his father two years earlier, and upon reaching adulthood James purchased a farm in West Windham. During the Revolutionary War, Davidson served at the very beginning of the war, and finished his service with the conclusion of the war following the surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga. When he returned to Windham, James quickly became involved in town politics, becoming a selectman in 1779. It was also shortly following his return that he married Hannah Hemphill, and the couple had eight children. He was appointed as selectman ten more times, spread out over three decades. He also served as a moderator at town meetings from 1797 to 1800, as well as a couple of years in the following decade. As if those official duties did not consume enough of his time, Davidson became town clerk in 1789, and served in that capacity for several years. With his involvement in town affairs, his name was a recognizable one among the townspeople of Windham; he is recorded as having been highly respected by the local populace. In September of 1791, James had the distinct honor of serving as a member of the state constitutional convention, which was responsible with framing the New Hampshire state constitution. Later in life Davidson became a deacon in the church during the ministry of Reverend Samuel Harris. Deacon James Davidson died on July 3, 1837, having survived his wife by almost 17 years.
Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.