DAVIS, Horace

1831–1916

Biography

DAVIS, Horace, a Representative from California; born in Worcester, Mass., March 16, 1831; attended the public schools of Worcester, and Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.; was graduated from Harvard University in 1849; studied law in the Dane Law School of Harvard University, but did not engage in professional pursuits by reason of failing eyesight; moved to California in 1852 and engaged in mercantile pursuits; moved to San Francisco in 1860 and engaged in the flour-milling business; elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1881); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1880 to the Forty-seventh Congress; resumed his former business pursuits; member of the Republican National Committee 1880-1888; president of the Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco in 1883 and 1884; president of the board of trustees of Stanford University 1885-1916; president of the University of California at Berkeley 1887-1890; died in San Francisco, Calif., July 12, 1916; interment in Cypress Lawn Cemetery.

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

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External Research Collections

Stanford University
Special Collections & University Archives

Stanford, CA
Papers: 1865-1915, 3 linear feet. The papers of Horace Davis include family correspondence and correspondence relating to the administration of Stanford University, copies of articles by Davis, diplomas, and pamphlets. The bulk of the papers concern Stanford University, its Board of Trustees and the problem it faced. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Photographs: 1904-1905, 1 volume. This album consists of the 1904 Stanford University viewbook published by H. W. Simkins with additional photographs added and labeled by Horace Davis; additional images include Lake Lagunita with the campus in the background, view of faculty housing, Encina Hall, Roble Hall, Chemistry Building, Assemby Hall, grounds of the Stanford residence on campus, interior of Memorial Church, interior of the Museum, and various Museum collections.
Papers: In the Chit Chat Club Records, 1877-2006, 9 linear feet. Subjects include Horace Davis. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the George E. Crothers Papers, 1905-1957, 16.5 linear feet. Subjects include Horace Davis. An unpublished guide is available in the repository.
Papers: In the Samuel Franklin Leib Papers, 1881-1920, 10.5 linear feet. Correspondents include Horace Davis. An unpublished guide is available in the repository.
Papers: In the George A. Merrill Letters Received, 1885-1908, 9 items. Correspondents include Horace Davis.
Papers: In the Harry C. Peterson Papers, 1894-1935, 3 folders. Subjects include Horace Davis.
Papers: In the Ray Lyman Wilbur Presidential Papers, 1914-1951, 172.5 linear feet. Subjects include Horace Davis. An unpublished guide is available in the repository.

Boston Public Library
Special Collections

Boston, MA
Papers: 1880-1895, 4 items. Two letters of introduction, a thank you note and one letter requesting that Mr. Horace Davis send information on Thomas Starr King to the Rev. Thomas Slicer who is preparing to give a lecture on Mr. King.
Papers: 1881, 2 items. A letter from Thomas Roberts Slicer, dated February 4, 1881, asking Horace Davis for information about Thomas Starr King; the second, dated February 16, 1881, thanking him for said information.

California Historical Society
North Baker Research Library

San Francisco, CA
Papers: 1906-1916, 0.5 linear foot. Horace Davis papers pertaining to the California School of Mechanical Arts and the Lux School of Industrial Training. The papers include correspondence, reports, financial statements, minutes, and other papers concerning the two schools, which shared premises when the Lux School first came into existence. Includes information on operations, salaries, student funds, and school real estate.

Harvard University
Houghton Library

Cambridge, MA
Papers: 1861, 2 items. A muster roll, dated at San Francisco, 30 August 1861, with 20 signatures, including that of Horace Davis; and a typescript letter, signed and dated at San Francisco, 24 Dec. 1914, from Horace Davis to Frederick Turner.

University of California, Berkeley
Bancroft Library

Berkeley, CA
Papers: Includes newspaper clippings on his political life (1876-1880).
Papers: 1879, 2 pages. A letter from George H. Elliot, Office of the Chief of Engineers, to Horace Davis written on December 17,1879. In the letter, George Elliot writes relating to the survey of the San Francisco Presidio.
Papers: 1880, 4 pages. A letter from Edward Janin to Horace Davis written on February 11, 1880. In the letter, Edward Janin writes about the boundaries of the Pulgas Rancho and the Report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office of Apr. 6, 1863.
Papers: 1916, 6 leaves. A speech titled "How I got into the library business" prepared for a meeting of the Stanford University Library Club and read by George T. Clark. Recollections of San Francisco in the 1850's and establishment of the Mercantile Library.
Papers: In the George Bancroft letters, 1845-1886, 1 portfolio. Includes a letter to Horace Davis.
Papers: Scrapbooks on Chinese immigration, 1877-1893, 8 volumes. The scrapbooks compiled by Horace Davis are as follows: Vols. 1-5: clippings covering the period 1877-1893; Vols. 6-8: extracts from published sources and misc. notes on Chinese immigration.

University of Pennsylvania
H. H. Furness Memorial Library, Special Collections, Van Pelt Library

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1886, 1 item. A letter from Horace Davis to Horace Howard Furness. In the letter, Horace Davis offers the author's opinions on the Sonnets and points out "a few trifling errors" in Helen Kate Furness' A Concordance to Shakespeare's Poems (1874).
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Davis, Horace. American Constitutions; The Relations of the Three Departments as Adjusted by a Century. Baltimore: N. Murray, publication agent, Johns Hopkins University, 1885. Reprint, [New York: Johnson Reprint Corp., 1973].

------, comp. Ancestry of John Davis, Governor and U. S. Senator; and Eliza Bancroft, His Wife; Both of Worcester, Massachusetts. San Francisco: [Published by the author], 1897.

------. California Breadstuffs. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, [1894?]

------. Dolor Davis [microform]: A Sketch of His Life With a Record of His Earlier Descendants. Cambridge: Printed for private distribution [by] the Riverside Press, 1881.

------. The Meaning of the University. San Francisco: N.p., 1895.

------. The Public Ministry of Jesus. Boston: American Unitarian Association, 1911.

------. Record of Japanese Vessels Driven Upon the North-west Coast of America and Its Outlying Islands. Worcester, Mass.: Printed by C. Hamilton, 1872.

------. Shakspere's Sonnets; An Essay. San Francisco: Murdock & Co., 1888.

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