Davis Family
Papers, 1807-1832

SC23100

Quantity: 1 box (.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Purchase, Mrs. Hudson’s Fine Books & Papers, Chelsea, N.Y., March 2009
Processed By: Regina Berry, Student Assistant, State University of New York at Albany for Manuscripts & Special Collections, February 2015

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Biographical Note:

John and James Davis were brothers born in Connecticut.  John Davis (March 5, 1749-June 27, 1833) was a private in the American Revolution, serving, from Connecticut, under Capt. Amos Wilson and Col. Fisher Gay.  He married Esther Austin (1751-1789) of Wallingford, Connecticut, on February 27, 1777, and they had four children:  Clemanda (1778-1842), Esther (1779-1848), Joel (1782-1874) and Lewis (1787-1787).  Following his Esther’s death, he married Ann Bissel in 1790; they had one son, Lewis (1796-after 1833).  Sometime between 1796 and 1807, the family moved to central New York, settling in Paris, Oneida County.  He appears to have been a farmer, growing peas, oats, corn, and potatoes and making cider from his apple orchards.  His living children married and moved to other central New York communities and are mentioned in the letters.  John was buried in Hanover Cemetery, Marshall, Oneida County, New York.  His second wife outlived him and his son Lewis was the executor of his estate.

James Davis (February 25, 1753-January 17, 1836) remained in Harwinton, Connecticut, and married Dorotha Coult on February 15, 1781.  They had at least three children: Mercy (born 1781), Dolly (born 1785) and William (born 1787).  James is buried in South Cemetery, Harwinton, Connecticut.

Scope and Content Note:

Six of the nine letters in this collection are from John Davis to his brother James. They include news about the family, names of relatives and neighbors, and anecdotes about the economic, political, religious and social activity of the time.  The letter of May 28, 1821, speaks of the Great Awakening in regards to the religious experience of some relatives.  Two letters from 1828 discuss the opening of the Erie Canal and its impact on the growth and development of Utica and the surrounding area.

One letter is from Anna and Samuel Hinman, who appear to be writing to Joel Davis and his wife, Resign Hinman, whom he married in 1804.  The last two letters are written by Norman and Mercy Davis Webb, daughter of James Davis, to her brother William and his wife, Rebecca.  These letters discuss some land transactions Norman Webb is trying to make.

Box and Folder List:


Box Folder Description
1 0 Historical and genealogical background information
1 1 A.L.S. John Davis, Hanover in Paris, [N.Y.], to James Davis [& wife], Harwinton, Litchfield County, [Conn.], February 16, 1807  (1 item)
1 2 A.L.S. John Davis, Hanover in Paris, [N.Y.], to James Davis, Harwinton, Litchfield County, [Conn.], September 20, 1807  (1 item)
1 3 L.S. Anna & Samuel Hinman, Lisle, Broome County, [N.Y.], to [Brother & Sister], September 24, 1818  (1 item)
1 4 A.L.S. John Davis, Hanover in Paris, [N.Y.], to James Davis, May 28, 1821 
(1 item)
1 5 A.L.S. John Davis, Hanover in Paris, [N.Y.], to James Davis [& wife], Harwinton, Litchfield County, [Conn.], May 21, 1827  (1 item)
1 6 A.L.S. John Davis, Kirkland, [N.Y.], to James Davis, Harwinton, Litchfield County, [Conn.], May 20, 1828  (1 item)
1 7 A.L.S. John Davis, Kirkland, [N.Y.], to James Davis, Harwinton, Litchfield County, [Conn.], September [1?], 1828  (1 item)
1 8 A.L.S. Norman & Mercy Webb, Vienna, [N.Y.], to William & Rebecca Davis, Harwinton, Litchfield County, [Conn.], January 26, 1832  (1 item)
1 9 A.L.S. Mercy Webb, [Constantia, Oswego County, N.Y.], to William & Rebecca Davis, Harwinton, Litchfield County, [Conn.], n.d. (after 1828)  (1 item)
Last Updated: October 4, 2016