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John Davis

Gov. John Davis

  • January 14, 1834 - March 1, 1835
    January 7, 1841 - January 17, 1843
  • Whig
  • January 13, 1787
  • April 19, 1854
  • Massachusetts
  • Yale University
  • Married Eliza Bancroft; five children
  • Resigned
  • Representative, Senator


JOHN DAVIS, the fourteenth and eighteenth governor to serve Massachusetts, was born in Northboro, Massachusetts on January 13, 1787. His education was attained at the Leicester Academy, and at Yale University, where he graduated in 1812. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1815, and then established his legal career in Worcester. Davis first entered politics in 1825, serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held nine years. He won election to the governorship in 1833, and was sworn into office on January 14, 1834 after resigning from Congress. Davis was reelected to a second term on November 10, 1834. During his tenure, the state’s road system was improved; industry within the state was advanced; and constitutional reform in state government was advocated for. Upon his election to the U.S. Senate, Davis resigned from the governorship on March 1, 1835. He served in his senatorial seat until 1841. Davis won reelection to the governor’s office on November 9, 1840. He was reelected to a second term in 1841, but lost his 1842 reelection bid, and left office on January 17, 1843. Two years later, he was reelected to the U.S. Senate, a position he held until 1853. Governor John Davis passed away on April 9, 1854, and was buried in the Worcester Rural Cemetery.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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