James Porter Davis, 87, a former director of the office of territories in the Interior Department, died Aug. 22 on a golf course on Nantucket Island, Mass.

Mr. David, who resided in McLean and maintained a summer residence on Nantucket, began his government career in 1917 as a U.S. consul. He served in Marseilles, Bangkok, and Shanghai before business in New York and Florida.

He returned to the government in 1933, in working first for the National Recovery Administration. During World War II, he worked for the Office of Price Administration and headed its operations in the U.S. territories, which included Hawaii and Alaska at the time.

Following the war, Mr. Davis became responsible for the territories in the Interior Department. He helped write legislation leading to statehood for Alaska, and Hawaii, laws concerning the Commonwealth of Puerto Pico, and the transfer from the Navy civilians of administration of the U.S. Trust Territories in the Pasific.

Since his retirement in 1953, Mr. Davis has been active in St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, McLean, where he was a member of the vestry and where he was a senior warden.

Mr. Davis was born in Tennille, Ga., and educated at Mercer University.

Survivors include his wife, Helen Van Tuyi Davis, of the home in McLean, and their two sons, Peter Van Tuyl Davis, of Atlanta, and Donald Reid Davis of McLean.

Also surviving are to sons and a daughter by Mr. Davis's marriage to the former Mable Bott, who died in 1950. They ade Edwin L. Davis, of Glastonberry, Conn, Theodore Davis of Denver, and Jean Sherman of Darien, Conn.

Mr. Davis had seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

The family requests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital or to the James P. Davis Memorial Fund of St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, McLean.