Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Nathaniel P. Davis Papers

Dates: 1916-1961.

Minister-Counselor, U.S. Embassy in Manila, 1946-1947; Ambassador to Costa Rica, 1947-1949; Minister to Hungary, 1949-1951.

The papers of Nathaniel P. Davis include letters between himself and Mr. Dean Acheson, and also letters between himself and President Harry S. Truman. The collection includes his diaries that he kept while he was interned by the Japanese in Manila and while he was working for the Foreign Service in Costa Rica and Hungary. Also included in this collection are newspaper and magazine clippings regarding Davis, correspondence with family and friends, speech drafts and speeches, official documents, memoranda, and memorabilia.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one linear foot (about 800 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Upon the donor's death, all literary property rights in his writings in the collection passed to the United States of America. Documents created by U.S. government officials in the course of their duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of these documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Willie L. Harriford Jr. (1961).
Updated by: Natalie Waterman (2006) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1895 (May 1)Born, Princeton, N.J.
1919 Joined the U.S. Foreign Service
1924Vice Consul in Berlin, Germany
1926-1929U.S. Consul in Pernambuco, Brazil
1929Appointed U.S. Consul to London, England
1942-1943Internment in Manila, Philippine Islands
1946 (December 11) Received the Medal of Freedom
1946-1947 Minister-Counselor, U.S. Embassy in Manila
1947-1949 U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica
1949-1951 U.S. Minister to Hungary
1951 Retired from the Foreign Service
1951 (October 18) Received the Distinguished Service Award
1973 (September 12) Died, Winter Park, Fl.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Nathaniel P. Davis include such items as correspondence between himself, Mr. Dean Acheson, and President Harry S. Truman. The largest part of the collection includes Mr. Davis's personal diary entries written while he was interned in Manila, and while performing Ambassadorial duties in both Costa Rica and Hungary. The rest of the collection includes newspaper and magazine articles mentioning Mr. Davis, correspondence with family and friends, speech drafts, official documents, memoranda, and memorabilia.

The collection consists of one series. This group of subject files date from 1916 to 1961, although most of the documents are dated from 1940-1952. A large portion of this collection is made up of Davis's personal diary entries. There are three different time periods in his life that he recorded in three separate diaries.

Davis's first diary was written while he was interned in Manila by the Japanese from 1942-1943. This diary includes his personal experiences from before his internment and while he was interned with twenty-seven others.

The second diary dates from 1948-1949 when Davis was Ambassador to Costa Rica, and takes on a completely different feel compared to his first diary in Manila. This diary mostly deals with his political decisions during the turmoil and unrest in Costa Rica.

The last diary kept by Nathaniel P. Davis is dated 1949-1951 and was written when he was Minister to Hungary. This diary is more light-hearted because Davis writes more on the social aspects of his job, such as dinner parties, rather than political problems.

The rest of the collection includes such items as all of Davis's distinguished honors and awards, along with letters offering congratulations and thanks. The collection also includes Davis's internment files, an invitation to President Jose Figueres's Inauguration ceremony in Costa Rica, and other memorabilia Davis collected during his time in the Foreign Service and thereafter.

More information concerning Nathaniel P. Davis can be found in Official File 979, White House Central Files, Harry S. Truman Papers.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container No. Series
1 SUBJECT FILE, 1916-1961
Correspondence, diary entries, newspaper and magazine articles, speeches and speech drafts, official documents, and memorabilia arranged in alphabetical order.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


FOLDER TITLE LIST
Box 1
  • Acheson, Dean-1949-1956
  • Ambassador to Costa Rica-1947
  • Clippings-1951-1957
  • Clubb, Oliver Edmund-Correspondence, 1952 [and related documents]
  • Congratulations for the Distinguished Service Award-1951
  • Costa Rica-Inauguration of President Figueres, 1953-1954
  • Diary (Budapest)-1949-1951
  • Diary (Internment)-1941-1961
  • Diary (San Jose)-1948-1949
  • Foreign Service Officer Certificates-1929-1949 [materials transferred to museum]
  • Internment Files-1942-1943
  • “Internment Interludes,” copies-1944
  • Medal of Freedom Citation-1946
  • Miscellaneous [letters of gratitude, etc]-1925-1952
  • Miscellaneous Papers [personal letters, etc]-1916-1954
  • Speeches-1947-1953
  • Syracuse University-1951-1952
  • Truman, Harry S.-1948-1951

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]