DAVIS, John Wesley

DAVIS, John Wesley
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
1799–1859

Biography

DAVIS, John Wesley, a Representative from Indiana; born in New Holland, Lancaster County, Pa., April 16, 1799; moved to Cumberland County, Pa., with his parents, who settled near Shippensburg; completed preparatory studies; studied medicine; was graduated from the Baltimore Medical College in 1821; moved to Carlisle, Ind., in 1823 and practiced medicine; surrogate of Sullivan County 1829-1831; member of the State house of representatives 1831-1833 and served as speaker in 1831; commissioner to negotiate an Indian treaty in 1834; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1835-March 3, 1837); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1836 because of ill health; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1839-March 3, 1841); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1840 to the Twenty-seventh Congress; again a member of the State house of representatives 1841-1843 and served as speaker in 1841; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1847); chairman, Committee on Public Lands (Twenty-eighth Congress); Speaker of the House of Representatives (Twenty-ninth Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1846; appointed by President Polk United States Commissioner to China and served from 1848 to 1851, when his successor was appointed; member of the State house of representatives in 1851, 1852, and again in 1857; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1852; appointed by President Pierce as Governor of Oregon Territory and served in 1853 and 1854; member of the Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1858; died in Carlisle, Sullivan County, Ind., August 22, 1859; interment in the City Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Indiana Historical Society

Indianapolis, IN
Papers: 1845, 1 folder. The collection consists of a one page letter from John Wesley Davis to a Dr. Cohen. It was written 2 June 1845 while he was in Washington City serving in Congress.

Indiana State Library

Indianapolis, IN
Papers: In the Austin H. Brown Papers, 1830-1901, 2 boxes. Correspondents include John Wesley Davis.
Papers: In the Charles Lanman Papers, 1828-1869, 1 box. Correspondents include John Wesley Davis.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the W. W. Corcoran Papers, ca. 1791-1896, approximately 54,000 items. Correspondents include John Wesley Davis. A finding aid is available in the library.

The Oregon Historical Society

Portland, OR
Photographs: In the Photographs: Davis-Davz [graphic], 1 folder, ca. 1800-present. Subjects include John Wesley Davis.

Yale University
Western Americana Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New Haven, CT
Papers: In the Willis Arnold Gorman Papers, 1846, 1 page. A letter from Willis Arnold Gorman to Dr. John W. Davis written on May 27, 1846. Willis Gorman requests appointment to a position in the Army and reports that he is raising a company of volunteers.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Bedford, Hope. "John Wesley Davis." Master's thesis, Butler University, 1930.

Davis, John Wesley. Speech...June 27, 1840 on the Independent Treasury Bill. New York: New Era, 1840.

------. Speech on Mr. Davis of Indiana, on an Appropriation for the Cumberland Road. Washington, D.C.: N.p., 1840.

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