DAVIS, John Wesley, (1799 - 1859)


Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object

DAVIS, John Wesley, a Representative from Indiana; born in New Holland, Lancaster County, Pa., April 16, 1799; moved to Cumberland County, Pa., with his parents, who settled near Shippensburg; completed preparatory studies; studied medicine; was graduated from the Baltimore Medical College in 1821; moved to Carlisle, Ind., in 1823 and practiced medicine; surrogate of Sullivan County 1829-1831; member of the State house of representatives 1831-1833 and served as speaker in 1831; commissioner to negotiate an Indian treaty in 1834; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1835-March 3, 1837); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1836 because of ill health; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1839-March 3, 1841); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1840 to the Twenty-seventh Congress; again a member of the State house of representatives 1841-1843 and served as speaker in 1841; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1847); chairman, Committee on Public Lands (Twenty-eighth Congress); Speaker of the House of Representatives (Twenty-ninth Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1846; appointed by President Polk United States Commissioner to China and served from 1848 to 1851, when his successor was appointed; member of the State house of representatives in 1851, 1852, and again in 1857; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1852; appointed by President Pierce as Governor of Oregon Territory and served in 1853 and 1854; member of the Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1858; died in Carlisle, Sullivan County, Ind., August 22, 1859; interment in the City Cemetery.