Who was the Yankee Rebel?
AMBROSE R. DAVENPORT
SEPTEMBER 11, 1772—MARCH 13, 1858
The Yankee Rebel Tavern was named after the patriot, Ambrose R. Davenport, who arrived on Mackinac Island as a military enlistee and later became a wealthy fur trader. While a prisoner of war during the War of 1812, Davenport refused allegiance to the British crown and simply, but proudly, declared, “I was born in America and am determined at all hazards, to live and die an American citizen.”
Having experienced the patriotism of the American revolution as a child, Ambrose Davenport attended school in Virginia with William Henry Harrison. Upon graduation he enlisted with the US Army and was assigned to Fort Mackinac here on the Island and was present for the American takeover from the British in 1796.
Following the recapture of Mackinac Island, Davenport returned home in 1815 and turned to farming since John Jacob Astor now dominated the fur business. He became a charter member of Mission Church in 1823. A veterans land grant for his farm was finally confirmed by Congress in 1830 and his deed signed by Andrew Jackson. Their farm was located in the area now known as Hubbard’s Annex.
Ambrose Davenport and his family weathered the failures and fortunes of farming and his homestead remains standing today as an old small house at the back of the property owned by the Chambers Family. At his death at the age of 87, in 1858, he left a large family that has dispersed throughout the United States.
Today, the Yankee Rebel Tavern carries on the patriotic theme and strives to serve the finest American cuisine on Mackinac Island and in Northern Michigan.