59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the David Davis Papers, 1812-1868, undated

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard MuseumGale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
Call NumberRU 416
Creator Davis, David
TitleDavid Davis papers
Date [inclusive]1812-1868, undated
Extent1 box (0.252 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe collection contains official appointments, invitations, legal documents, receipts, and other material belonging to David Davis (1802-1868), Justice of the Peace in Edgartown, Massachusetts.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions to access.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to museum staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 416, David Davis Papers.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Miss Cora B. Knowlton in 1941. (Accession no. 1941.022 and 1941.024). The immediate source of acquisition and date of accession for the rest of the material is unknown.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Lara J. Ullman in July 2014. Finding aid machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick, July 2014.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Related Materials

Related Material

See also, RU 132, Deed Collection of Martha's Vineyard, Box 7, Folder 41; RU 207, Whaling and the Vineyard, Box 2, Folders 4 & 5.

Controlled Access Headings


  • Invitations
  • Legal documents
  • Programs
  • Receipts

Geographic Name(s)

  • Dukes County (Mass.)
  • Edgartown (Mass.)


  • Court records--Massachusetts--Dukes County
  • Justices of the peace--Massachusetts--Dukes County
  • Notaries

Biography/Historical Note

David Davis was born in Farmington, Maine, on December 23, 1802 to Sanford and Mary (Coffin) Davis. David resided in Edgartown, Massachusetts. On September 28, 1827 David married Hannah Marchant (1802-1844). The couple had four children: Hannah M., David Jr., Harrison A., and Justin Leroy. After Hannah died, David married Octavia Jane Backus (1816-1885) of Farmington, Maine, in 1845. The couple had one daughter, Ella Octavia. In 1836 David established Davis Academy in a building at the corner of Davis Land and School Street in Edgartown. He was appointed Counsellor to the Governor of Massachusetts in 1845 and again in 1856. David served as the Edgartown tax collector in 1848, was a notary public and a Justice of the Peace for Dukes County, Massachusetts. He was also a noted orator. David Davis died on November 6, 1868 in Edgartown.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains official appointments, court notes, invitations, legal documents, programs, receipts, and requests belonging to David Davis (1802-1868). Also included in the collection are two publications: one of an oration and the other a poem both by David Davis in honor of America's Independence.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Collection Inventory


Receipts, 1812-1868, undated 


"Oration Delivered Before the Citizens of Edgartown, July 4, 1833, Being the Fifty-seventh Anniversary of American Independence" by David Davis, 1833 


Legal Documents, Receipts, and Requests, 1835-1868 


"Poem Recited Before the Citizens of Edgartown, July 4, 1836, Being the Sixtieth Anniversary of American Independence" by David Davis, 1836 


Appointment to Governor of Massachusetts Staff as Counsellor, 1845 January 11, 1856 January 10 


Invitations and Programs, 1855-1866, undated 


Court Notes for Dukes County Taken by David Davis, Justice of the Peace, 1857-1863