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John Givan Davis letters

 Collection — Folder: S0338
Identifier: S0338

Scope and Contents

There are two letters in this collection, both written by John Givan Davis. The first one, dated July 7, 1832, is to Father, who was John’s father-in-law, George Cornelius in Petersburg, Kentucky. From Rockville, Parke County, Indiana, John wrote: “The Indians in the N.W. are yet assuming hostilities toward the frontiers. Volunteer companies have gone to the scene of Indian massacres from this & the adjoining counties in this state, on a tour of 3 months. What will eventually be the result of these affairs remain for time to unfold. Much damage has already been sustained among the whites. Lives have been lost & a fair prospect for further barbarities of the same character.”

The second letter is dated September 7, 1854, from John G. Davis in Terre Haute to Honorable W. I. Brown in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is only one page, written in ink. He begins: “I am most unfortunately sick, am better and will be in the field again soon.” He mentions someone who is “filling my appointments this week in Sullivan.” He concludes his letter: “If I had health, I should do as always & heretofore ask no help but fight my battles solitary and alone. I shall remain at home this week. Write me there at once.”


  • 1832, 1854

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

The son of Eli Davis, John Givan Davis was born on October 10, 1810 in Fleming, Kentucky. He married Jane W. Cornelius, who was born about 1816, and had three children: Littleton, born 1836; Amanda, born 1842; and John W., born 1848. The 1850 federal census lists him as a clerk. George M. Cornelius, who donated the letters, wrote that John “became a member of Congress, a successful lawyer and a very rich man.” Mr. Cornelius also stated that their daughter, Amanda, “married William Mack, a successful lawyer of Terre Haute and for many years Vigo’s circuit judge.”

George Cornelius, to whom the 1832 letter is addressed as “Father” (he was Jane’s father), was the grandfather of George M. Cornelius, president of Cornelius Printing Company, who donated the letter in 1931. In 1832, George was in the tanning business at Petersburg, Kentucky. This George had ten girls and three boys, including Pembroke S. Cornelius, the father of the president of Cornelius Printing in 1931.


Information Found within Collection and accessed on Oct. 17, 2013.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from George M. Cornelius on 1931/12/08.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Nikki Stoddard Schofield during October 2013. EAD finding aid completed by Bethany Fiechter on 208/05/12.
John Givan Davis letters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.