John Davis
Painting: by unknown 19th century

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1834-1835, 1841-1843

A graduate of Yale in 1812, John Davis trained for the law and was admitted to the bar in 1815. He settled in Worcester and won election to the U.S. Congress on his first attempt, serving from 1825 to 1834.

He won a plurality in a three-way race with Marcus Morton and John Quincy Adams, where he was elected Governor by a vote of the Massachusetts Senate. Governor Davis won reelection but resigned in 1835, having won a seat on the Whig ticket in the U.S. Senate. Mr. Davis served his complete term in the Senate 1835-1841.

Mr. Davis was elected Governor again in 1840, beating Marcus Morton who unsuccessfully challenged him again in 1841. Morton received a plurality and victory in the state Senate, unseating Davis. In 1844, Mr. Davis, his nephew, and several friends founded the State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, one of only five life insurance companies in the 26 United States. The company was a success, and Governor Davis returned to serve in the U.S. Senate, 1845-1853.