Jefferson Columbus Davis papers
Scope and Content of the Collection
Original journals, correspondence, photographs, engravings, newsclippings, together with some typed copies, documenting Davis’ tenure as military governor of Alaska, 1867-1870, and his and his wife’s tour of Mexico in 1878.
Alaskan materials include: 1867 orders and instructions issued by Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, Sec. of State William H. Seward, and Asst. Adj. Gen. E.D. Townsend; correspondence and a journal written by Davis and his wife, describing the Russian cession ceremony, Sitka, daily life, and trips to tribal settlements, 1867-1870; an 1872 explanation of Davis’ treaty-mandated takeover of Russian Fur Company property; correspondence from Robert N. Scott, a senior aide of Halleck’s in San Francisco, commenting on military appointments, congressional funding, presidential impeachment proceedings, and Davis’ handling of an 1869 incident involving a Chilkat chief; a copy of the first issue of the Sitka times (issued in ms., Sept. 19, 1868); and photographs (Metropolitan Veniaminov, Sir John Franklin, Prince Maksutov, etc.), engravings, and administrative correspondence.
Mexican-related items include Mrs. Davis’ 1878 diary containing detailed descriptions of an Ohio and Mississippi River steamboat passage, New Orleans, and Mexico City; and signed photographs of President and Mrs. Porfirio Diaz, whom the Davis’ visited.
- Creation: 1867-1878
- Davis, Jefferson Columbus, 1828-1879 (Person)
Materials are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The Jefferson Columbus Davis papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Jefferson Columbus Davis papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at email@example.com.
Biography of Jefferson Columbus Davis
Career army officer.
Born in Clark County (Ind.), Davis enlisted during the Mexican War and by late 1861 was brigadier general of volunteers. Although he commanded divisions throughout the Civil War, his career stalled in 1862 after he shot and killed his superior officer. In 1866, Davis was mustered out of volunteer service and appointed colonel of the 23rd Infantry. On Sept. 6, 1867, he assumed command of the new Military District of Alaska and served at Sitka until 1870 as both military governor and Indian superintendent. In 1878, Davis embarked with his wife, the former Marietta Woodson Athon, on a quasi-official tour of Mexico City.
0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)
Original journals, correspondence, photographs, engravings, newsclippings, together with some typed copies, documenting the career army officer's tenure as military governor of Alaska, 1867-1870, and his and his wife's tour of Mexico in 1878.
Papers organized by geographic area, i.e., Alaska and Mexico, and then by type of document.
Collection Stack Location
VAULT 26 1
Gift, Mrs. Vernon Hahn (Marietta D. Finley Hahn), 1963.
Virginia Hay Smith, 2011.
- Davis, Marietta A. (Person)
- Díaz, Delfina Ortega y Reyes de (Person)
- Díaz, Porfirio, 1830-1915 (Person)
- Franklin, John, 1786-1847 -- Portraits (Person)
- Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872 -- Correspondence (Person)
- Innokentiĭ, Saint, Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, 1797-1879 -- Portraits -- Portraits (Person)
- Maksutov, Dmitriĭ Petrovich, 1832-1889 (Person)
- Scott, Robert N. (Robert Nicholson), 1838-1887 -- Correspondence (Person)
- Townsend, E. D. (Edward Davis), 1817-1893 -- Correspondence (Person)
- Seward, William H. (William Henry), 1801-1872 -- Correspondence (Person)
- United States. Army. Department of Alaska -- History -- 19th century -- Sources (Organization)
- United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 23rd (1866-1957) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources (Organization)
Genre / Form
- Correspondence -- 1851-1900
- Diaries -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- 1851-1900
- Diaries -- Mexico -- Mexico City -- 1851-1900
- Journals (notebooks) -- Alaska -- 1851-1900
- Newspapers -- Alaska -- Sitka -- 1851-1900
- Photographs -- 1851-1900
- Alaska -- Description and travel
- Alaska -- Politics and government -- 1867-1959 -- Sources
- Mexico City (Mexico) -- Description and travel
- Mississippi River -- Description and travel
- New Orleans (La.) -- Description and travel
- Inventory of the Jefferson Columbus Davis papers, 1867-1878
- Martha Briggs and Virginia H. Smith
- Language of description
- Script of description