William Watts Hart Davis papers
Davis enjoyed a long life of multiple careers as an educator, journalist, author, and government and military official, which allowed him to produce a great deal of writings and communications. The papers here show the work he engaged in and the people he worked with, or who were impressed by the wo...
|Collection:||William Watts Hart Davis Papers|
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|Online Access:||Link to finding aid|
3.0 Linear feet 7 boxes, 7 volumes, 1 flat file
Davis enjoyed a long life of multiple careers as an educator, journalist, author, and government and military official, which allowed him to produce a great deal of writings and communications. The papers here show the work he engaged in and the people he worked with, or who were impressed by the worked he produced. Contained with William Watts Hart Davis's papers are correspondence, various writings and compositions, newspaper clippings, military records, and artifacts.
Box 1 contains a number of compositions including historical overviews, biographical sketches, correspondence, commentary, extracts from personal journal, and historical notes about the war and other contemporaneous events in the United States and Europe. Among the many entries included are “Pennsylvania;” “Benedict Arnold;” “The Abolition of Slavery; “Washington;” “Farming,” and “History of the Hart Family.” Items are housed as they were included in the volume where they were previously bounded.
The items in Box 2 primarily concern the public’s response to Davis’s “History of Buck County” and the “History of the 104th PA Regiment.” The commendations show their appreciation of his works saying “it is a work of great labor and research” and “the remarkable contribution you have made in the ranks of historical research.” Also included are various newspaper clippings discussing social and civic engagements, and Davis’s printed speeches most notably his remarks offered at the Bicentenial Celebration in Doylestown in 1882. Other items include thank you letters regarding invitations to events other civic and social engagements.
Box 3 include a number of drafts of Davis’s writings including the “History of the 104th PA Regiment;” “Mexican War: A Military Execution;” “The Mexican War;” “The Capture of General Valencia;” “With General Cushing in Mexico;” “Indian Trial at Santa Fe;” “History of Bucks County Historical Society;” “The Military Spirit of Bucks County;” “A Description of Pennsbury Manor Reformed Church, Bucks County;” “Major Joeph O. Archambault”; and “From Over the Sea” all of which are hand written. Other miscellaneous material includes a mathematics notebook, newspapers clippings on the Mexican War, the 104th Regiment badges, and correspondences.
Boxes 4 and 5 contain returns and consolidated reports for the 104th Pennsylvania regiment. The reports show the promotions of military personnel, ranks, attendance records. Box 6 also contains a variety of documents related to the military including correspondence, orders, invoices, circulars, and memos.
There are seven volumes in the collection of a variety of documents including correspondents, autographs, newspaper clippings, invitations, cards, and notes. Most notably, among the volumes, is the Doylestown Guards company book (1848-1860). The loose items from these volumes were removed and rehoused in Box 7.
William Watts Hart Davis was graduated from military school in Norwich, Vt., in 1842, was professor at Portsmouth (Va.) Military Academy, studied law, was an officer in the Mexican War, returned home to Doylestown and practiced law, was appointed to various government offices for the territory of New Mexico, 1853-1857, returned home where he purchased the Doylestown "Democrat," recruited the 104th Pennsylvania Regiment, and served through the Civil War, returned home to spend the rest of his life managing and editing the Democrat, and speaking and writing on historical subjects. Davis's papers are arranged into several volumes. His incoming correspondence, 1832-1846, 1857-1860, 1880-1882, from family and friends touches on all his activities, with many passing references to politics, although the content is primarily of personal affairs. One volume of the correspondence has been designated "autographs" and includes letters of political and military men, together with clipped signatures. There are also two volumes of "Literary Remains" containing school essays, articles, addresses, reminiscences, diary entries, queries, acknowledgements, invitations, and clippings. There are additional manuscripts of consolidated reports, returns, special and general orders of his command which included regiments of 11th Maine, 56th New York State, 52nd Pennsylvania, and 104th Pennsylvania; History of One Hundred and Fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers; other works on the Mexican War and Bucks County; more scrapbook material, invitations, cards, notes, and newspaper clippings. The Doylestown Guards minute book, 1849-1860, is also in this collection.