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Finding Aid to the William Heath Davis Papers, 1840-1905
BANC MSS C-B 445  
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Table of contents What's This?

Key to Arrangment

Part I

volume v. 1

Letters written by Davis, 1846-1850

Scope and Content Note

Photocopy of business letterbook; original in California State Library, Sacramento Contains letters, some in Spanish, addressed to other merchants, including Henry D. Fitch and John Parrott, and to customers such as Vallejo, Larkin, and Frémont. Some letters (1847) in the hand of Richard M. Sherman, temporarily in charge of Davis' business in California. Letters provide detail re ship cargoes, merchandise orders, prices for goods, etc. Some discuss future of Mexican California.
Box 1

Letters written by Davis, 1851-1905

Scope and Content Note

Originals, copies and drafts; addressed primarily to members of his family, particularly while he was in Washington, D. C. (1882-84) and in Los Angeles and San Diego (1884-ca. 1887). Letters to his wife, María de Jesús (Estudillo) Davis, are in Spanish. Arranged chronologically.
Box 2

Letters written to Davis

Scope and Content Note

Letters from members of his family, other California merchants and settlers, etc. Partial list of correspondence follows.
Unlisted letters are in a miscellany at the beginning of the file.
 

Accounts and other financial Papers, arranged chronologically

 

Leese, Jacob Primer. Orders for merchandise, Jan. 27 & Feb. 15 1840

 

Guerrero, Francisco. Order for merchandise, Nov. 2, 1841

 

Sinclair, William. Receipt. Signed for Sinclair by James A. Forbes, Apr. 1, 1845

 

Howard, W[illiam] D[avis] M[erry]. Bill for goods, noted as credited in account, June 13, 1846

 

Ware, William. Receipted bill for cedar shingles, Aug. 17, 1846

 

Shockley, H. A.. Receipted bill for goods supplied to William Heath Davis, Sept. 11, 1846

 

Mellus, Henry. Receipt for hides, Oct. 24, 1846

 

Frémont, J[ohn] C[harles]. Order for supplies written and signed for him by William H. Russell, [Nov. 3, 1846]

 

Powell, William John. Receipted bill for medical service on Brig Euphemia, Dec. 5, 1846

 

Smith, Stephen. Request to pay Leidesdorff for lumber, Jan. 7, 1847

 

Semple, Robert. Bill, Feb. 23, 1847

 

Vioget, Jean Jacques. Bill for caulking Euphemia by Mr. McLannan, Nov. 16, 1847

 

Davis, William Heath. Bill of lading for goods from San Francisco to Santa Cruz on the Brig Henry, Nov. 27, 1847

 

Hoppe, Jacob D . Note to William Heath Davis requesting delivery of merchandise, Mar. 31, 1848

 

Starkey, Janion, & Co. Receipted bill, Oct. 10, 184[8?]

 

Gilbert, Hubbard & Co. Receipted bill for Alta California & printing, Jan. 4-May 2, 1849

 

Davis, William Heath. Bill of lading for gold shipped to New York via Panama on the steamship California, Apr. 30, 1849

 

S. H. Williams & Co. Receipted bill, Sept. 10, 1849

 

Coyle, Francis, pastor of the Catholic Church, S.F. Receipt for "book containing account of receipts and payments..." Jan. 15, 1850

 

Robert Wells & Co. Receipted bill for three frame houses, Aug. 1, 1850

 

San Francisco. Street Commissioner's Office. Street assessment. Signed by Joseph Weed, Collector of Assessments, Oct. 30, 1850

 

Richardson, William. Order to pay one hundred and fifty dollars to G. B. Post, Oct. 31, 1850

 

Davis, W[illia]m H[eath]. Check on Page Bacon & Co., Dec. [7?], 1850

 

Davis, William Heath. 3 cancelled checks on the San Francisco Savings Bank, 1852-53

 

Matthews, H . Bill to Davis & Ward, June 11, 1855

 

Davis, William H[eath]. Check on John Sime & Co., Oct. 13, 1858

 

Davis, William Heath. Account book, 1897-1900

 

Davis, William Heath. "Money to family, " 1898-1900

 

W[illia]m Heath Davis Account with Miss Lizzie Manning, July 18, 1903

 

Miscellaneous accounts

 

Miscellaneous papers

 

Co-partnership agreement - William H. Davis, William Richardson and John Parrott, "with a view to the navigation by steam of the Bay and tributaries of the Port of San Francisco..." March 17, 1849

 

Lease from William Heath Davis to Blecker, Van dyke & Belden, for land in San Francisco, Aug. 18, 1849

 

San Francisco. Clerk. Subpoena, to sheriff of San Francisco, to command appearance of Edwin Bryant, Washington Bartlett, Nathan Spear and William H. Davis, to testify in case, Pell v. Woodworth and Roach, Sept. 18, 1849

 

Power of attorney granted William H. Davis to settle estate of Louis Gravier, Oct. 15, 1849

 

Davis, William Heath. Copy of lease of land in San Francisco to Edward Vischer, Dec. 1, 1849

 

Certificate of registration of the Barque Hortensia, May 9, 1850

 

Summons to William Heath Davis to appear before the U.S. Commission for Ascertaining and Settling Private Land Claims in California, March 14, 1855

 

Davis, William Heath. Agreement to aid Abel Guy in case, Daniel Sill v. Guy, Jan. 25, 1856?

 

Davis, William Heath. Deed of land (copy), Aug. 25, 1856

 

Davis, William Heath. "Flying trip to California, " undated

 

Davis, William Heath. "Flying Trip to Honolulu 1847, " undated

 

Miscellaneous papers related to William Heath Davis

 

Newspaper clippings related to William Heath Davis and family

 

William Heath Davis papers, including:

 

Hinckley, William Sturgis, 1807-1848:

 

Letter to Gulnac, Mar. 16, 1842, from Yerba Buena, requesting him to deliver hides to W. H. Davis. 11. A.L.S.

 

Thompson, Joseph P.:

 

Letter to W. H. Davis, Aug. 1, 1845, from Yerba Buena, sending copy of letter from committee of arrangements for the celebration of the fourth of July along with one other document. 1 letter, A.L.S.

 

Green, Talbot H., 1810-1889:

 

Bill to W. H. Davis, Monterey, Apr. 15, 1846. 1 letter, A.D.S.

 

Davis, William Heath, 1822-1909:

 

Bill and receipt to the U. S. Portsmouth for five pounds of nails. Yerba Buena, Sept. 21, 1846. 1 letter, A.D.S.

 

Pell, E. Ward:

 

Certificate of inspection of hides and tallow for W. H. Davis, Oct. 18, 1846, at Yerba Buena. 1 letter, A.D.S.

 

Davis, William Heath, 1822-1909:

 

Cancelled promissory note to T. C. Pelton, Fe b. 2, 1854, San Leandro. 1 letter, A.D.S.

 

Davis, William Heath, 1822 -1909:

 

Cancelled promissory note to Hirshfelder, Levy & Co., Sept. 6, 1858, San Leandro. Printed form, filled in. 1 letter,

 

Davis, William Heath, 1822-1909:

 

Cancelled promissory note to Main & Winchester, July 21, 1860, San Francisco. Printed form, filled in. 1 letter,

Box 3

Publishers' dummies for Davis' Sixty-Six Years in California and Seventy Years in California. (2 v.)

Scope and Content Note

His reminiscences were published as Sixty Years in California (1889) and Seventy-Five Years in California (1929). The mss. of the published works are in the Huntington Library.
volume v. 2-5

Journals, cash books and ledgers

volume v. 2

Journal for ranching operations, San Leandro, 1863-67

volume v. 3

Cash book [for ranch expenses?], 1868-73

volume v. 4

Journal, 1868-71 [most of the pages are blank]

volume v. 5

Ledger, 1868-71 [most of the pages are blank]

Part II (on film only)

reel 1-2

Positive microfilm of letters written by and to Davis, July 1849-August 1898

Scope and Content Note

Relating to business dealings with merchants in California, Hawaii and Boston and to family affairs. Originals in California State Library, Sacramento.

Partial List of Correspondents

 

Alexander & Mellus, San Pedro

 

Letter, Sept. 4, 1848. Re hide and tallow accounts.

 

Davis, Albert G. [son]

 

18 letters, 1881-1887. Re family finances and status of Mexican War claim.

 

Davis, George Hyde, 1868?- [son]

 

5 letters, 1881-1884.

 

Davis, María Jesús (Estudillo), 1831-ca. 1905 [Mrs. William Heath Davis]

 

5 letters, 1881-188[3?]. Written in Spanish.

 

Davis family miscellany

 

12 letters, 1864-190[?]. Letters written by Davis' daughters, some while students at the Academy of Notre Dame, San Jose.

 

Flügge, Charles W., d. 1852

 

2 letters, 1845-1846

 

Frisbie, John Baptist, 1824-

 

Letter, Apr. 25, 1848. "Gen. Scott's order" re Mexican civil prosecution of U.S. military personnel.

 

Misroon, John Stoney, 1810-1865

 

Letter, Nov. 15, 1846. Written aboard the U.S.S. Portsmouth.

 

Nye, Gorham H., 1802-1878

 

Letter, Nov. 1, 1851. Written from rancho of G. G. Warner.

 

Parrott, John, 1811-1884

 

8 letters, 1849-1853. Photostats of originals in the California State Library, Sacramento. Re various business enterprises in partnership with Davis.

 

Peck, Sherman

 

Letter, June 1, 1847. Enclosure: account with Nathan Spear, Jan. 1, 1847.

See also Semple, Robert B.

 

Revere, Joseph Warren, 1812-1880

 

Letter, Nov. 3, 1846

 

Ridley, Robert Thomas, 1819?-1851

 

Letter, March 6, 1840.

 

Semple, Robert Baylor, 1808-1854

 

2 letters, 1847-1850. Letter, Sept. 23, 1850, written to Richard M. Sherman.

 

Stearns, Abel, 1798-1871

 

Letter, Feb. 2, 1858. Declines Davis' invitation to join in a business venture.

 

Sutter, John Augustus, 1803-1880

 

Letter, April 22, 1844. Re account with Davis.

 

Vischer, Edward, 1808-1878

 

2 letters, 1850. Re San Diego real estate investment.