William Heath Davis (1822-1909) was born in Hawaii. He learned merchandizing from his uncle Nathan Spear. Davis was also a
real estate developer and an author. The collection consists of correspondence, legal papers, accounts, bills, business records,
cash and cargo books, and miscellaneous papers.
William Heath Kanaka Bill Davis was born in Hawaii in 1822, the grandson of a Polynesian princess; accompanied his stepfather
on voyages to Alaska, and when he was ten, to California; learned merchandizing from his uncle Nathan Spear, a wealthy merchant
with stores in San Francisco and Monterey; operated store in San Francisco, served briefly on the town council, and became
a millionaire by age 28; invested in 160 acre waterfront property, now located between Front Street and Broadway in San Diego;
sent for six prefabricated buildings from Portland, Maine in 1849 and built a wharf and warehouse called New Town; however
it did not attract sufficient business, and became known as Davis' Folly; Davis wrote Sixty Years in California (1889) and Seventy-Five Years in California (published posthumously in 1929); he died in 1909.
2 boxes (1 linear ft.)
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