Jacob C. Davis
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Jacob Cunningham Davis (September 16, 1820 – December 25, 1883) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois and is one of five men tried and acquitted of the murder of Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement.
Born near Staunton, Virginia, Davis attended the common schools and William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Virginia. He moved to Warsaw, Illinois, in 1838, where he studied law. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Warsaw. He served as clerk of Hancock County, Illinois. He was appointed circuit clerk in 1841. He served in the Illinois Senate from 1842 to 1848 and again from 1850 until his resignation in 1856, having been elected to Congress.
Davis was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fourth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William A. Richardson and served from November 4, 1856 to March 3, 1857. He was defeated in his bid for re-election. After his defeat, Davis resumed the practice of law in Clark County, Missouri. He died in Alexandria, Missouri, December 25, 1883. He was interred in Mitchell Cemetery, near Alexandria, Missouri.
In 1844, Davis was indicted and tried for the murders of Joseph Smith, Jr. and Hyrum Smith. The Smiths had been imprisoned in Carthage Jail when the prison was stormed by an armed mob that shot and killed them. As a captain in command of the Warsaw Rifle Company of the Illinois militia, Davis was accused of having ordered his men to storm the prison. At trial, Davis and four other defendants were found by a jury to be not guilty of the murders.
- Jacob C. Davis at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Dallin H. Oaks; Marvin S. Hill (October 1975). Carthage conspiracy. ISBN 978-0-252-00554-1.
- Marvin S. Hill. "Carthage Conspiracy Reconsidered: A Second Look at the Murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith", Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Summer 2004.
- "Jacob Cunningham Davis", Joseph Smith Papers
|United States House of Representatives|
William Alexander Richardson
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 5th congressional district
Isaac N. Morris
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.