Richard James Davant collection
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Richard James Davant collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Davant, Richard James, 1866-1915.
Creator: Wiltberger, Peter, 1791-1853.
Creator: Wiltberger, William H., 1825-1872.
Title: Richard James Davant collection
Dates: 1791-1910
Extent: 0.5 cubic feet (1 box)
Identification: MS 0199

Biographical/Historical Note

Richard James Davant (1866-1915), insurance executive, twice mayor of Savannah, was one of the executors (became the last surviving executor) of the estate of William H. Wiltberger (1825-1872) who had been the executor of the estate of his father, Captain Peter Wiltberger (1791-1853).

Peter Wiltberger, a native of Philadelphia, came to Savannah ca. 1816 as a ship's captain, a career he pursued for several years. About 1920 he became manager of the City Hotel on Bay Street. In 1832 and 1834 he purchased the lots on the northwest corner of Bull and Bryan Streets and about 1835 he opened the Pulaski House on the site. He owned and managed the hotel until his death. In 1836 he acquired two lots on the northwest corner of Broughton and Whitaker Streets occupied by the Mansion House. The corner lot had been the site of Tondee's Tavern in the colonial and revolutionary eras. In 1846 he purchased the Bonaventure plantation tract upon which he began developing the Evergreen Cemetery of Bonaventure (now operated by the City of Savannah as Bonaventure Cemetery).

William H. Wiltberger was associated with his father in the Pulaski House and the Evergreen Cemetery, both of which he continued operating after his father's death. During the Civil War he was a captain of Company B, 5th Georgia Cavalry Regiment.


Scope and Content Note

Most of this collection concerns both Wiltberger estates. There are a few papers which do not relate to the Wiltbergers. There is also a typed list of property taken by Federal troops in 1864 and 1865 from Cedar Hall, Vivian and Lincoln Hill plantations, Hampton County, South Carolina (Davant property?)


Index Terms

Bills of sale.
Bonaventure Cemetery (Savannah, Ga.)
Davant, Richard James, 1866-1915.
Deeds.
Letters (correspondence)
Marriage licenses.
Pulaski House (Savannah, Ga.)
Receipts (financial records)
Slavery.
Tybee Island (Ga.)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Confiscations and contributions.
Wiltberger, Peter, 1791-1853.
Wiltberger, William H., 1825-1872.
Yellow fever.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

These materials came into Mr. Lamborn's possession through his wife, Louise (Davant) Lamborn, niece of R.J. Davant.

Preferred Citation

[item identification],Richard James Davant collection, MS 199, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ody H. Lamborn, 1962-1971.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Sponsorship

Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

 

Fldr

Item

11-3Peter Wiltberger, Miscellaneous, 1821-1844
Marriage license, Peter Wiltberger and Susan Greene, August 13, 1821; receipt to Peter Wiltberger for purchase of furniture of City Hotel, December 21, 1832; writ of attachment against William C. Willey, endorsed to Peter Wiltberger, February 10, 1844.
 

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Item

24-37Papers regarding the estate of Peter Wiltberger, 1853-1861
All of the papers except one are receipted bills for clothing, dental work, a carriage, medical expenses, funeral and probating expenses, and payments to Wiltberger's sisters, legatees under his will. The exception is a Power of Attorney by Margaretta Wiltberger, Emily Wiltberger, Catharine R. Wiltberger and Sarah (Wiltberger) Petty, sisters of Peter Wiltberger to George Snowden of Philadelphia to receive for them money due them under his will. November 1, 1853.
 

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Item

338-53William H. Wiltberger correspondence, 1854-1872
All except two of the letters are from Wiltberger's cousin, George M. Snowden in Philadelphia, attorney at law for their aunts. They concern payments sent under the will of Peter Wiltberger for his sisters and contain news of the family. Some have receipts written on the letters; the loose receipts are in the folder on the estate of Peter Wiltberger. One letter, August 31, 1854, comments on the yellow fever epidemic in Savannah. The letters of 1861 mention the impending Civil War, politics, slavery and secession. The exceptions are a letter of December 29, 1858 which concerns shares in the Charleston and Savannah Railroad Company and one of July 29, 1872, regarding painting the Pulaski House.
 

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454-71William H. Wiltberger, Miscellaneous, 1860-1872
Receipts, promissory notes, receipted bills, list of wines stored in Macon, June 1862; parole, May 6, 1865; oath of allegiance, June 2, 1865; permit to retain a revolver, a sporting rifle and a double barrel gun, September 19, 1865; account of the estate of Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers with W.H. Wiltberger, May 7, 1866-July 30, 1867; Confederate States of America $100 bond, some coupons clipped.
 

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Item

572-83Papers regarding the estate of William H. Wiltberger, 1872-1877 ( 1.0 p. )
Warrant of appraisement for the estate, 1872. Two receipts, one for cash and the other for securities, 1872; 7 cancelled checks for payments for the estate, all signed by R.J. Davant, 1876-1877.
 

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684-88Bills of sale of slaves to Peter and William H. Wiltberger, 1827-1861
 

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789-95Papers regarding Lots 9 and 10 Heathcote Tything, Decker Ward, 1791-1836
Lot No. 10 was the site of Tondee's Tavern in the colonial and revolutionary eras. Both lots were later occupied by the Mansion House. They were acquired by Peter Wiltberger in 1836.
 

Fldr

Item

896-110Papers relating to the Pulaski House, 1832-1910
The papers are deeds of conveyance for the site 1832, leases, mortgages, etc., 1875-1910; two special tax receipts for liquor, pool and billiard tables, 1892, and a Pulaski House letterhead, 189_. The documents of August 19, 1890 and November 1, 1892 list the furnishings in the Pulaski House.
 

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Item

9111-115Deeds to property on Tybee Island, 1890-1898
Two deeds of conveyance, Tybee Beach Company to Charles F. Graham, lots on Tybee Island, 1890; Deed, Charles F. Graham to Richard J. Davant, Exr. Of estate of William H. Wiltberger, conveying lots on Tybee to secure rental for the Pulaski House property and other considerations, 1892; Quit claim deed of Tybee Beach Company to property of Charles F. Graham for lots on Tybee Island property, 1898.
 

Fldr

Item

10116Deed of lease, Isaac Wiltberger to Cheesman & Marshall, northern half of Lot 10, First Tything, Anson Ward in Savannah, 1866 January 9 ( 6.0 p. )
The building on the lot was known as the "Drayton Street Ice House."
 

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11117-121Papers regarding the Bonaventure Plantation tract which became Evergreen Cemetery of Bonaventure, 1846-1872
Agreement for purchase of Bonaventure, Peter Wiltberger and Josiah Tattnall; mortgage (containing plan of Bonaventure tract), Peter Wiltberger to Josiah Tattnall, 1836; receipts for painting (made to W.H. Wiltberger) and for keeper's salary, 1872; printed deed form for burial lot in Evergreen Cemetery.
 

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12122-127Deeds giving chain of title to a portion of the Woodville plantation tract, 1820-1838
There is no apparent connection between these papers and the Wiltberger papers.
 

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13128-131William H. Greene papers, 1822-1827
Receipt for payment to Petty & Greene, 1822; promissory note to Petty & Green, 1824; relinquishment of claims by Lazarus Petty on debts due William H. Greene with list of debts on back, 1827; list of demands against the estate of William H. Greene. Undated. Peter Wiltberger's wife was Susan Greene; his sister Sarah married a Petty.
 

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14132-136Miscellaneous, 1858-1888
Clipping from an unidentified Savannah newspaper of an article describing Savannah and commenting on slavery by Belle Brittan, Hiram Fuller, dated Pulaski House, Savannah, March 11, 1858; pamphlet, The Greatest Discovery of the 19th Century...Wm. Radan's Microbe Killer, New York, Wm. Radan's Microbe Killer Company 1888; 3 manuscript recipes: To Stew Terrapins, To Boil Salmon, Cough Medicine.
 

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15137-141North Carolina and South Carolina papers, 1808-1907
Writ of levy, William Nichols vs. Souther I. Rew, Craven County, North Carolina, 1808; bill of sale of a slave, William Wilson to John Hogg, Beaufort County, South Carolina, 1816; mortgage, Mary P. Charlton to Central Rail Road and Banking Company of a tract in Hampton County, South Carolina, 1885; manuscript survey of the adjoining tracts of W.J. Lawton and Mary P. Charlton, Hampton County, South Carolina, 1907. None of these papers relate to the Wiltberger papers. There is also a typed list of property taken by Federal troops in 1864 and 1865 from Cedar Hall, Vivian and Lincoln Hill plantations, Hampton County, South Carolina (Davant property?).