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|Size||6.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 4700 items)|
|Abstract||Johnson was a native of Virginia, graduate of the University of Virginia, Baptist minister, Confederate chaplain, author, professor of English at the University of Mississippi, president of Mary Sharpe College in Winchester, Tenn., and of Hillman College in Clinton, Miss., and planter near Duck Hill, Miss. His son, John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr. (1869- 1932), was the first president of Mississippi Woman's College. Correspondence and other papers of John Lipscomb Johnson, including correspondence of John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr., and the latter's children, Cecil Johnson (b. 1900) and Rachel Johnson (b. 1903). Many letters discuss family matters, social events, and daily activities in Mississippi and Tennessee. Correspondence and other items document Johnson's service at the University of Mississippi and Mary Sharpe College; his compilation of biographies of University of Virginia graduates killed in the Civil War; involvements of members of the Johnson family with Southern Baptist churches; social and academic activities of students at Mississippi Woman's College, 1910s-1930s; Cecil Johnson's career teaching history, primarily at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; Rachel Johnson's career with the Associated Press in Geneva, Switzerland, in the 1930s and with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services in Italy and North Africa in 1943 and 1945; and other, largely family, matters.|
|Creator||Johnson, John Lipscomb, 1835-1915.|
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John Lipscomb Johnson (1835-1915), an educator and Baptist minister, was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the son of Lewis Johnson (1800-1853) and Jane Dabney Johnson (1800-1863). He was one of at least five children that the couple raised at Forest Hill, the family plantation.
In 1854, Johnson began his studies at the University of Virginia. He was graduated in 1860, and, on 10 June of that year, was ordained in Charlottesville as a minister in Southern Baptist churches. One month after his ordination, Johnson married Julia Anna Toy in Norfolk. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as chaplain of the 17th Virginia Infantry. Later, he served as a hospital chaplain in Lynchburg.
Following the war, Johnson preached in Baltimore, Maryland, and in Portsmouth, Lynchburg, and other towns in Virginia. He also held various offices in the Southern Baptist Convention and assisted in raising money for Richmond College. To honor his alma mater, he compiled the University Memorial Biographical Sketches of Alumni of the University of Virginia Who Fell in the Confederate War (Baltimore: Turnbull Brothers, 1871).
In 1873, Johnson moved with his wife and two children to Oxford, Mississippi, where he taught English at the University of Mississippi. He taught at Oxford, preaching on Sundays, for sixteen years, until he and four other professors were dismissed in 1889 after a feud with the chancellor, Alexander Peter Stewart (1821-1908).
Johnson then took his family to Tennessee, where he was president of Mary Sharp College in Winchester. After two years, he again became embroiled in controversy and left his position.
The next stop was Columbia, Mississippi, where Johnson was pastor of the First Baptist Church. In 1896, he resigned as pastor and retired to the "Purnell Place," two miles from Duck Hill. He enjoyed an active retirement, writing articles, preaching, and working within the church hierarchy. For a short time, he served as president of Hillman College for Young Women. He died in 1915.
Six of Johnson's children reached adulthood: Julia Toy, Crawford Toy, John Lipscomb, Jr., Jessie Rosalind, Wortley Valentine, and Mary Rawlings. John Lipscomb, Jr. (1869-1932), followed most closely in his father's footsteps. Shortly after marrying Sue Bell Moody in Georgia, Johnson moved to Mississippi. There his responsibilities included teaching at Georgia Normal and Industrial College in Milledgeville, acting as chair of the Laymen's Executive Committee of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, and serving as mayor of Clinton. With the help of the Convention, Johnson became president of the Mississippi Woman's College in Hattiesburg, where he guided the college through its formative years.
The Johnsons had five children reaching adulthood: Cecil Slaton, Rachel, Julia Toy, Jacqueline van Roden, and Sue Bell. Cecil (b. 1900) studied at Yale University and at the University of Virginia. He taught at the Tunica Agricultural High School in Mississippi, Wake Forest College, Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina, and the University of North Carolina. Most of his career was spent in the History Department at Chapel Hill. (See the CECIL S. JOHNSON PAPERS, #3806, in the Southern Historical Collection).
Rachel (b. 1903) worked first as a teacher and then joined the Associated Press in Europe, operating primarily out of Geneva, Switzerland. During World War II, she joined the WACs, serving in the Office of Strategic Service in Italy and North Africa. After the war, she married Waller Batson and lived in Washington, D.C.Back to Top
The papers are chiefly correspondence of John Lipscomb Johnson, John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr., and the latter's children, Cecil and Rachel. Many of the letters discuss family matters, social events, and daily activities. Much correspondence has to do with education, having been written by one of the Johnsons as a student, professor, or school administrator. Scant documentation of John Lipcomb Johnson's military career is included. There is, however, a significant number of items pertaining to his granddaughter Rachel's WAC activities during World War II.
Also included are financial and legal materials, writings of various family members in the form of speeches, poetry, or personal narratives, printed items, and pictures.Back to Top
Chiefly correspondence between members of the Johnson family. Also included are professional letters relating to Baptist affairs and to education. Of particular interest are letters in the 1890s relating to the outbreak of yellow fever in Mississippi and those in the 1930s and 1940s about Rachel Johnson's career. Letters throughout document the family's long-standing interest in women's education.
Correspondence in this period relates chiefly to John Lipscomb Johnson and his son John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr. The elder Johnson wrote of compiling biographies of University of Virginia graduates who died during the Civil War (see also Subseries 3.1), and of serving as professor at the University of Mississippi and president of Mary Sharp College. The younger Johnson wrote about his courtship of Sue Bell Moody, about yellow fever in Mississippi, and about the Georgia Normal and Industrial College.
In this decade, John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr., continued to write about his involvement with higher education and with Southern Baptist churches. During this time, he was vice-president of Hillman College for Young Women and, later, president of Mississippi Woman's College (see also Subseries 4.1). Also included are family letters from Johnson's wife to her relatives in Georgia, letters from soldiers during World War I, and Johnson's remarks about his trip to Europe in 1907.
During this period, the children of John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr., reached maturity and left Mississippi. Johnson himself remained at Mississippi Woman's College, from which he wrote letters about the social and academic activities of the students. He also wrote about his work with the Southern Baptist Convention.
Depression era letters continue the same themes as the previous decade. John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr., remained at Mississippi Woman's College, and Cecil Johnson wrote from various academic posts, including Yale University and the University of North Carolina. Letters document Rachel Johnson's work with the Associated Press in Geneva, Switzerland, and also with the Inter American Commission of Women (see also Subseries 4.2).
In this period, letters document the family's continued association with Mississippi Woman's College and Southern Baptist churches after the death of John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr., in 1932. Cecil Johnson continued to write from the University of North Carolina. There is a great deal of correspondence in 1943 and 1945 from Rachel Johnson, serving in the Office of Strategic Services in Europe and North Africa. Her letters give a detailed view of her World War II experiences. Also included are wartime letters from other soldiers, and, after the war, letters from friends at Georgia State College for Women and St. Mary's College in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Chiefly Mississippi and Georgia land deeds, teaching certification Papers, and bills and receipts for household items and taxes. The early deeds are for property in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, and relate to Sue Bell Moody Johnson's family. Of interest is an agreement between John Lipscomb Johnson and the chancellor of the University of Mississippi concerning the 1889 dispute that eventually sent Johnson packing.
Handwritten versions of short biographical sketches gathered by John Lipscomb Johnson for his monograph on University of Virginia students who died during the Civil War.
Chiefly speeches, drafts, and notes of John Lipscomb Johnson, relating to his activities with Southern Baptist churches.
Chiefly handwritten versions of poems composed by Rachel Johnson, Sue Bell Moody Johnson, and John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr., some of which were later published.
Typed version of Rachel Johnson's "North Africa in Wartime" (apparently never published), in which she describes her service with the WACs during World War II.
Arrangement: by type.
Clippings, brochures, and short histories relating to Mississippi Woman's College.
Newspaper and magazine clippings, programs, menus, and flyers relating to John Lipscomb Johnson, John Lipscomb Johnson, Jr., Southern Baptist churches, and educational institutions. Also included are two issues of The Swiss Monthly, which contain a two-part article on Rachel Johnson's 1931 bicycle tour of Switzerland.
Materials on genealogy, religion, education, and other topics. The religious material relates to John Lipscomb Johnson's participation in the Baptist Association Convention in Virginia. The educational material pertains to the Georgia Normal and Industrial College, the University of North Carolina, and other schools.
Processed by: Ben Trask, November 1986; Roslyn Holdzkom, July 1988
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008Back to Top