Davidson Family Collection

Davidson Family Collection

In the Peabody Room at Georgetown Neighborhood Library

Davidson Family
Collection No. 11

PROVENANCE:
Materials contained in Box 3 were donated circa 1986 to 1988 by Robert Webster Stone, Jr., who’s Great-great-granduncle was Samuel Grant Davidson.
 
The provenance of the other materials in this collection is unknown.
 
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE:
Original and reproduction manuscript/transcript materials document periods in the lives of three Georgetown residents who were owners and residents of one of Georgetown’s storied landmarks, Evermay :
  • Samuel Davidson (c 1747 – 1810), a real estate speculator and part-owner of the land where the White House stands, began construction of Evermay in 1792.
  • Lewis Grant Davidson (1779 - 1832), second owner of Evermay, inherited the Georgetown property at 1623 28th Street, NW from his uncle Samuel Davidson upon condition that he add “Davidson” to his name.  Lewis’ name change made him the first resident of the nation’s capital to take another name legally and required a special act of Congress, signed into law by President James Madison.
  • Samuel Grant Davidson (1822 – 1893), never married son of Lewis Grant Davidson and his wife Eliza (Crawford) Davidson.
See also Peabody Room’s “Davidson” vertical file for extensive genealogical information.
 
RESTRICTIONS: 
No known reproduction restrictions are on this collection.
 
SERIES LIST:
Box 1
A manuscript notebook containing transcriptions of correspondence from Samuel Davidson to the Commissioners for the District of Columbia dating from 1792 to 1809.  Possibly transcribed by Henry Henley Dodge (1835 -1898) whose signature “H. H. Dodge” appears on the inside front cover over “Book No. 5-.”
 
Samuel’s nephew Lewis had a younger sister Elizabeth Grant Davidson (1827 – 1892) who in 1849 married Charles Dodge (1828 – 1890).  Henry Henley is probably related to Charles but the connection remains to be determined.

Box 2
Receipted household, employment, and promissory note invoices paid by Lewis Grant Davidson 1810-1820.  Receipts are arranged chronologically into folders by year with one folder containing undated receipts.
 
Box 3
Diary of Samuel Grant Davidson covering the time period of Jan. 1, 1845 to May 24, 1845.  Diary is a copy of the original whose location is unknown and accompanied by two typewritten transcripts. All suffered water damage from 2007 Georgetown Branch Library fire but are serviceable. 
 
Included are four typed transcripts of:
  • Sept. 7, 1844 - “Slave Investment Trust” contract signed by Samuel Grant Davidson and five others for the purchase of Richard Daily (“mulatoe Boy”) from Thomas Williams Droven (“…a dealer in Negroes…”).
  • Oct. 12, 1845 – Unfinished and unsent letter written by Samuel Grant Davidson and perhaps intended for his sister Ann Grant Davidson (1924 - ?) who on July 3, 1845 had married Dr. A. D. Woodruff.
  • Aug. 2, 1865 – Letter written to Samuel Grant Davidson by a cousin identified only by the letter “L”.
  • Circa 1870s – “A Fragment of an Historical Novel of Late Eighteenth Century Georgetown” apparently written circa 1870s by Samuel Grant Davidson.  Accompanied by copy of original 35-page transcript in which the first two pages are missing.
Prepared by Jerry A. McCoy
August 2013
DC Public Library Special Collections
Peabody Room
Georgetown Neighborhood Library
3260 R St. NW
Washington, DC 20007