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Noble and Davidson family papers

Identifier: L107

Scope and Contents

This collection includes receipts and financial papers of Noah Noble, correspondence of Catherine Noble Davidson and Alexander H. Davidson, an autograph album of Catherine Noble Davidson and autograph books signed by the members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Also, included are Noble family land and legal documents from Virginia and Kentucky and newspaper clippings on politics and the U.S. Civil War.

Correspondents include John J. Crittenden, William Henry Harrison, John James Hayden, Michael C. Kerr, Robert Dale Owen, Caleb B. Smith, Oliver H. Smith and Richard W. Thompson.

The oversize collection contains a survey for John Steed's 4,000 acres dated January 20, 1785 and a land grant issued to Thomas Bishop of Franklin County, Indiana for land in Brookville, Indiana, datd November 13, 1822 (OB089).


  • 1785-1868


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

Noah Noble was born January 15, 1794 in Berryville, Clarke County, Virginia. He married Catharine Stull Van Swearingen in 1819 and they had three children. Noble moved to Indianapolis in 1825 where he worked as a lawyer, farmer, and merchant. He also operated a fulling mill, ran the Brookville hotel, served as director of the Brookville branch of the State Bank of Indiana and was an agent for the Hartford Fire Insurance Company. Noble served as Franklin County sheriff 1820-1824. He was governor of Indiana (1831-1837) and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1836 and 1838. Noble died February 8, 1844 in Indianapolis.

Alexander H. Davidson was an Indianapolis schoolteacher and businessman; he was also a member of the executive committee of the Indiana Constitutional Union Party in 1860. Davidson was married to Catherine Noble.


Rebecca A. Shepherd, et al., eds. A Biographical directory of the Indiana General Assembly, vol. 1. Indianapolis: Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana.


0.35 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box, 1 medium oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Washington family and Valette Miller.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Barbara Hilderbrand during January 2007. Finding aid revised by Laura Eliason on 2015/11/12; 2021/10/01 by Lauren Patton.


Noble and Davidson family papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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