Davie represented North Carolina at the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787. There, he aided in the ratification movement in North Carolina. He got the bill in the General Assembly to pass in order to charter the University of North Carolina.
Davie was Governor of North Carolina from 1798 to 1799. Davie is remembered as one of the fathers of the University of North Carolina owing to his early support as a politician and as his service as a member of the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees. From 1799 to 1800, Davie was the Minister of France, but he continued aiding the university during this time. Davie later died at his plantation in South Carolina in 1820 at the age of 64. At that time, he enslaved 116 individuals.