|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one chronological series.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains a diary that Davis kept while doing missionary work in India, containing what Davis called the "migratory thoughts of life" for "private use and property." Most of his writings are concerned with resolving questions and garnering inspiration for his missionary work. Davis also used the diary to work out drafts for correspondence and other writings. In pages 31-42 Davis describes a trip to Lima. Pages 66-68 include a draft entitled "The South India Conference by a Member of It." Pages 69-72 record "The Rev. Dr. Murray Mitchell on Missions," an article copied from the Madras Times of August 8, 1882. A list and synopsis of all correspondence sent and received by Davis between 1876 and 1881 can be found on pages 125-141.
Burke Library record group:
Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL3, South Asia
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, MRL3: Franklin Grasson Davis papers, 1876-1883, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
MRL 3: Clark P. Hard papers, 1863-1923, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Formerly part of the independent Missionary Research Library (MRL), these records were accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove in 1988-07-19. Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. The diary, which had been damaged by water, was wrapped in acid-free tissue and tied with cotton. Loose pages from the diary were separated into a folder with original locations noted. The finding aid was created by Kristen Leigh Southworth in 2013 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2020.
2020-08-11 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Franklin Grasson Davis was a Methodist minister and missionary in India. He was born in Clay, Ohio on June 16, 1844 as the eldest son of Grasson and Celicia Davis. Davis experienced a religious conversion at the age of eleven and received a call to ministry. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and received his first license to preach in 1871. He then went on to receive his Masters of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. In 1875 he traveled to Allahabad, India to serve as a missionary of the Rock River Conference. A year later, in 1876, he was appointed to be assistant pastor to Rev. Clark P. Hard of the South India Conference, and was given charge of the Black Town district in Madras, a large city on the southeastern coast of India. In 1878, Rev. Clark P. Hard returned to New York and Rev. Davis was assigned care of Perambore and the Southwest Railway Line. Davis served in Madras from 1876-1882, and then returned to Allahabad in 1883. He lived a total of nine years in India. Davis married fellow missionary Mary F. Carey of Catskill, New York while in India, and together they had four children: Dora, Amy, Frank, and Willis. Davis returned to America in 1884 in poor health, and passed away at the age of forty on October 22, just four days after arriving home in Clay, Ohio.