TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Administrative Information

Biography of Jefferson Columbus Davis

Scope and Content of the Collection

Arrangement

Selected Search Terms

Container List

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Inventory of the Jefferson Columbus Davis Papers, 1867-1878


The Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610-7324
USA
Phone: 312-255-3506
Fax: 312-255-3646
E-Mail: specialcolls@newberry.org
URL: http://www.newberry.org

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Polly Smith, 2011.

©2011.


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Creator Davis, Jefferson Columbus, 1828-1879
Title Jefferson Columbus Davis Papers
Dates 1867-1878
Extent 0.4 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract 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.
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
Collection Call Number Ayer MS 3057
Collection Stack Location VAULT 26 1

Administrative Information

Cite As

Jefferson Columbus Davis Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Provenance

Gift, Mrs. Vernon Hahn, 1963.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith, 2011.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Arrangement

Papers organized by geographic area, i.e., Alaska and Mexico, and then by type of document.

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Selected Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.

Names

  • Davis, Jefferson Columbus, 1828-1879 -- Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
  • Díaz, Delfina Ortega y Reyes de
  • Díaz, Porfirio, 1830-1915
  • Franklin, John, Sir, 1786-1847 -- Portraits
  • Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872 -- Correspondence
  • United States. Army. Dept. of Alaska -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Davis, Marietta A.
  • Innokentiĭ, Saint, Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, 1797-1879 -- Portraits
  • Maksutov, Dmitrii Petrovich, 1832-1889
  • Scott, Robert N. (Robert Nicholson), 1838-1887 -- Correspondence
  • Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872 -- Correspondence
  • Townsend, E. D. (Edward Davis), 1817-1893 -- Correspondence
  • United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 23rd -- History -- 19th century -- Sources

Subjects

  • Alaska -- Description and travel
  • Alaska -- Politics and government -- 1867-1959 -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- Alaska -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Manuscripts, American -- Alaska -- Sitka
  • Manuscripts, American -- Mexico -- Mexico City
  • Steamboats -- Mississippi River -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Transcripts
  • Correspondence -- 1851-1900
  • Diaries -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- 1851-1900
  • Diaries -- Mexico -- Mexico City -- 1851-1900
  • Journals (notebooks) -- Alaska -- 1851-1900
  • Manuscripts, American -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
  • Mexico City (Mexico) -- Description and travel
  • Mississippi River -- Description and travel
  • New Orleans (La.) -- Description and travel
  • Newspapers -- Alaska -- Sitka -- 1851-1900
  • Photographs -- 1851-1900

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Container List

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Alaska-Correspondence: Davis, Jefferson to Marietta A. Davis, July 10-12, 1870
1 2 Alaska-Correspondence: Davis, Marietta A to her sister, Oct. 21-Dec. 22, 1867
1 3 Alaska-Correspondence: Scott, Robert N. to Jefferson Davis, Oct. 1867-Apr. 1869
1 4 Alaska-Correspondence: Miscellaneous, 1867-1870
1 5 Alaska-Journals: Davis, Jefferson (Tour of the Department, mss.), May, 1870
1 6 Alaska-Journals: Davis, Jefferson (Tour of the Department, typescript), May, 1870
1 7 Alaska-Military Orders and Instructions: Halleck, H.W., Sept. 6, 1867
1 8 Alaska-Military Orders and Instructions: Seward, William H. & Townsend, E.D., Oct. 1867
1 9 Alaska-Miscellaneous: Tribe and Chief Names, Sitka to Stakine, undated
1 10 Alaska-Miscellaneous: Indorsements on Communication of William S.F. Wood to the Secretary of War, Nov. 1871
1 11 Alaska-Newspapers: The Sitka Times, Sept. 1868
1 12 Alaska-Photographs: Franklin, Sir John (with note and calling card), 1870
1 13 Alaska-Photographs: Maksutov, Dimitri Petrovich, Prince, ca. 1867
1 14 Alaska-Photographs: M[aksutov], Princess, ca. 1867
1 15 Alaska-Photographs: Sealskin Rug made for J.C. Davis, 1867
1 16 Alaska-Photographs: View of Sitka (painting), ca. 1867
1 17 Alaska-Photographs: Veniaminov, Metropolitan, ca. 1867
1 18 Alaska-Prints: Engravings and Postcards, undated
1 19 Alaska-Typescripts, undated
1 20 Mexico-Drawings: Feathered bird, ca. 1878
1 21 Mexico-Journals: Davis, Marietta A., Personal Record, Feb.-Mar. 1878
1 22 Mexico-Journals: Davis, Marietta A., Mar.-April, 1878
1 23 Mexico-Journals: Davis, Marietta A., typescript copy, Mar.-April, 1878
1 24 Mexico-Photographs: Diaz, Delfina O. de, 1878
1 25 Mexico-Photographs: Diaz, Porfirio, 1878
1 26 Mexico-Photographs: scarf pin of Maximillian (with typescript explanation), undated