John Davis

"Portraits of United States Senators." (detail)
Gulick, Pierson, and Wright
Gleason's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion
February 19, 1853


John Davis of Massachusetts

John Davis of Mass. (honest John) when I was a page in the Senate called me up to his seat and asked me several questions and he repeated with emphasis, “Isaac don’t you leave the service of the Senate. Stay here as long as you can.” It made a deep impression on my little mind, and here I am yet May 4, 1885. He was a senator liked by everybody in the Senate. When he spoke he was listened to with deep attention, for what he said he meant. Mild in his intercourse with senators, officers and pages. [9B42]

Editor's Note:

John Davis was elected as an Anti-Jacksonian (later Whig) to the U.S. Senate and represented Massachusetts from 1835 to 1841, when he resigned. He was elected again in 1845 to the Senate as a Whig, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Isaac C. Bates. He served until 1853.

People, Places, & Things:

  • Page - For more than 175 years, messengers known as pages have served the U.S. Senate. Page duties consist primarily of delivering correspondence and legislative material within the Capitol complex. Other duties include preparing the Senate Chamber for Senate sessions, and carrying bills and amendments to the presiding officer’s desk.
  • Officers - Officers of the Senate ensure that the business of the Senate runs smoothly. These include the president of the Senate (the vice president of the United States), president pro tempore, secretary of the Senate, sergeant at arms (originally the doorkeeper), and the Senate chaplain.