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Guide to the William Heath Davis Papers, 1838-1871, Vault MS 86
Vault MS 86  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • System of Arrangement
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Contents

  • Title: William Heath Davis papers
    Date: 1838-1871
    Collection Identifier: Vault MS 86
    Creator: Davis, William Heath, 1822-1909.
    Extent: 2.0 folders (0.2 linear feet)
    Contributing Institution: California Historical Society
    678 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94105-4014
    (415) 357-1848
    reference@calhist.org
    URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
    Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are mostly in English. The Pio Pico letter and William E. P. Hartnell receipt are in Spanish.
    Abstract: Created or collected by William Heath Davis between the years 1838 to 1871, the collection consists of correspondence, bills, receipts, checks, and two account books documenting Davis' business activities as an employee of California merchant Nathan Spear; supercargo aboard the Don Quixote to Honolulu; agent for Paty, McKinley & Co. in San Francisco; owner of the brig Euphemia; and merchant and landowner in San Francisco.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Heath Davis papers, Vault MS 86, California Historical Society.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was given to the California Historical Society by C. Templeton Crocker, forming part of the Templeton Crocker Collection. At least two items were added later: the John Parrot letter, donated by Mrs. George D. Lyman in 1951; and the Taafee, M'Cahill & Co. bill, donated by James Abajian in 1952.

    System of Arrangement

    Papers are arranged in chronological order.

    Biographical Information

    William Heath Davis (1822-1909) was an early Californian merchant, shipowner, and landowner. Born in Hawaii, he went to work for his uncle Nathan Spear in San Francisco beginning in 1838; served as a supercargo aboard the Don Quixote in 1842-1843; and worked as an agent for Paty, McKinley & Co. in San Francisco between the years 1843 and 1845. The following year he purchased the brig Euphemia with his new partner Hiram Grimes, becoming a major San Francisco merchant in his own right. In 1847, he married the daughter of Joaquin Estudillo, Maria de Jesus, assuming ownership of a large property in what is now San Leandro.

    Scope and Contents

    Created or collected by William Heath Davis between the years 1838 to 1871, the collection consists of correspondence, bills, receipts, checks, and two account books documenting Davis' business activities as an employee of California merchant Nathan Spear; supercargo aboard the Don Quixote to Honolulu; agent for Paty, McKinley & Co. in San Francisco; owner of the brig Euphemia; and merchant and landowner in San Francisco.
    The collection contains nine letters written to Davis by John C. Jones, John A. Sutter, Pio Pico, Hiram Grimes, Thomas O. Larkin, W. Richardson, Anthony Ten Eyck, and John Parrott. Many of the bills, checks, and receipts in the collection are also signed by prominent early Californian businessmen, including William E. P. Hartnell and Samuel Brannan. The account books were kept by Davis while he was a supercargo aboard the Don Quixote and an agent for Paty, McKinley & Co., and record purchases and payments made between the years 1842 and 1846.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Don Quixote (Ship).
    Euphemia (Brig).
    Paty, McKinley & Co.
    Account books.
    Businessmen--California.
    California--Commerce--Hawaii.
    Merchants--California.
    Real property--California--San Francisco.
    Receipts.
    Supercargos--California--Correspondence.