Johnson Family Papers, 1776-1937

Collection Number: 4928

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Johnson family papers, 1776-1937
Collection Number:
4928
Creator:
Johnson family.
Quantity:
1.9 cubic feet.
Forms of Material:
Correspondence, wills, diplomas, a field book, an examination, obituaries, marriage certificates, photographs, a book of autographs, pay rolls, land grant certificates, military documents, genealogical notes, family histories and records, books, and other documents of the Johnson family.
Repository:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
The Johnson Family Papers consist of correspondence, wills, diplomas, marriage certificates, obituaries, photographs, genealogical notes and family histories, land grant certificates, military documents, a book of autographs, and other papers and documents of the Johnson and related families, direct descendants of the Presidential Adams family. The family was located chiefly in Utica, New York.
Language:
Collection material in English


REMARKS OF THE DONOR, SARAH JOHNSON

It is an accident of birth that my sister and I had these documents in our possession. It is not, however, an accident that we have chosen to donate them to the Carl A. Kroch Library here at Cornell. Over the years my sister and I have had a number of discussions about the deposition of these papers. Our first concern was preservation. Here in this facility our family records will be stored in a climate-controlled vault, kept as safe as humanly possible from floods, fire, earthquakes, and insects. Second, we wished to make the documents available to others. Here scholars and students will have the opportunity to work with the original documents rather than from a microfilm or xerox copy of them. Already undergraduate students have had a chance to read the family correspondence of John and Abigail Adams in its original form. Holding such a document in one's hands can alter one's sense of history; legendary figures come alive, they become human. And we could not have asked for greater access than to have the letters posted on the world-wide web. Kroch has admirably addressed our fundamental concerns.
Equally important to us was the character of the institution in which we placed the documents. It is understandable that so much of the interest in the collection is focused on the Adams' letters. But the Adamses, distinguished though they were, are only one branch of our family. The letters they wrote originated in Quincy, but their destination was Utica, New York. The history of the other branches of our family is embedded in that of this region. The archives here at Kroch already contain evidence of their presence here, their ties through marriage, commerce, politics and friendship with other families in the area. One of those many ties was to the Cornell family itself. Our grandfather's sister, Mary Savage Johnson, was a friend of Ezra Cornell's daughter, as the inscription in Mary Emily Cornell's autobiography testifies.
Beyond what the documents may reveal about specific individuals and Upstate New York, the collection also reveals, in our view, something about our nation. Three branches of our family were victims of religious persecution. Abigail Adams' ancestors were Puritans who set sail for the New World on the Mayflower; the Savages were French Huguenots; and the Johnsons were Sephardic Jews. All were driven from their homes at some point in their history and came here, we imagine, in search of peace and tolerance, conditions necessary for them to prosper. Let us hope that our country continues to extend this promise to people of all religious and ethnic backgrounds.
On a very personal level this occasion is a somewhat sad one for me. My sister and I have no children. Those of you who have children and grandchildren can envision your family extending into the future, while our immediate family stands behind, not in front of us. Last fall I carried the two tin boxes containing the fragile paper relics of our ancestors to this Library and left them here. By placing these papers in the care of one of the finest research libraries in the world, my sister and I believe we have ensured that the children of the future, both those who can trace their ancestors back generations and those who do not know even their parents' names, will be able to examine the papers and learn something about who we are as a people.
The sadness I have occasionally felt over relinquishing these papers has been outweighed a thousandfold by the pleasure I have received as a consequence of this gift. It has been great fun working on the collection with the superb staff of this facility. The reactions of students and others who have seen the papers have been tremendously gratifying. And it has given me special satisfaction to make this gift to Cornell. During quieter moments, usually on my walk home from campus, I look around and feel the same wonder I felt when I first arrived. I have been so fortunate to be a member of this community of scholars striving for intellectual excellence. Cornell is a truly extraordinary institution. My sister and I could have found no finer home for our family's papers.
By placing these papers in the care of one of the finest research libraries in the world, we have attempted to ensure that they will be preserved and that others will have access to them. We have entrusted them to Kroch with the hope that the children of the future, both those who can trace their ancestors back generations and those who do not know even their parents' names, will have the opportunity to study them and learn something about who we are as a people.
Sarah L. Johnson
Gwyneth J. Lymberis

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Johnson Family Papers consist of correspondence, wills, diplomas, marriage certificates, obituaries, photographs, genealogical notes and family histories, land grant certificates, military documents, a book of autographs, and other papers and documents of the Johnson and related families, direct descendants of the Adams family.
The earliest correspondence concerns the relations between Abigail Adams and her daughter-in-law Sarah Adams, and among other members of the family, including John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Susan B. Adams, Charles Thomas Clark, and various members of the Adams, Johnson, and Savage families. Other documents refer to George Washington, Aaron Burr, Martin Van Buren, and James Monroe. The collection contains much material concerning the genealogy and history of several related families, with reference to their participation in numerous political and social events. The papers include discussion of family relations and matrimony, genealogy, domestic arrangements and social life, family properties and holdings, family political and military history, and other matters. The family was located chiefly in Utica, New York.
Documents are signed by George Washington and James Monroe; genealogies pertain to members of the Johnson, Adams, Smith, Bosch, Het, Quincy, Fowle, Boylston, Shepard, Norton, and Bass families.
Includes letters of daughter-in-law Sarah Adams, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Charles Adams, Susan B. Adams, Charles Thomas Clark, Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson, Belinda Clarkson, Alexander B. Johnson, Arthur B. Johnson, Aaron Burr, John Savage, Daniel B. Tompkins, Martin Van Buren, Edward Savage, Mary Ann Smith, Louisa C. Smith, Eliza Thompson, Samuel Nelson, Eliza A. Hunt, Mary Ann Savage Hunt, Ward Hunt, and other members of the Johnson, Adams, and Savage families.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Johnson family.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.
Adams, Abigail, 1744-1818.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
Monroe, James, 1758-1831.
Adams, Sarah.
Adams, Charles.
Adams, Susan B.
Clark, Charles Thomas.
Johnson, Abigail Louisa Smith.
Clarkson, Belinda.
Johnson, Alexander B.
Johnson, Arthur B.
Burr, Aaron, 1756-1836.
Savage, John.
Savage, Edward.
Tompkins, Daniel D., 1774-1825.
Van Buren, Martin, 1782-1862.
Smith, Mary Ann.
Smith, Louisa C.
Thompson, Eliza.
Nelson, Samuel.
Hunt, Eliza A.
Hunt, Mary Ann Savage.
Hunt, Ward.
Adams family.
Savage family.
Smith family.
Bosch family.
Het family.
Quincy family.
Fowle family.
Boylston family.
Shepard family.
Norton family.
Bass family.

Subjects:
Family - New York (State) - Utica.
Family - Massachusetts - Quincy.

Places:
Utica, New York - Social life and customs.
Massachusetts - Quincy - Social life and customs

Form and Genre Terms:
Photographs.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Restrictions on use:
Researchers may view one folder at a time.
Letters in this collection have been digitized. Links to the digital images can be seen in Series IV.
Cite As:
Johnson family papers, 1776-1937. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
SERIES LIST

Series I. Correspondence
Adams
Abigail Adams
Box 1
John Adams
Box 1
John Quincy Adams
Box 1
Charles Adams
Box 1
Sarah Adams
Boxes 1, 2, 5
Johnson
Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson
Boxes 2, 5
Alexander B. Johnson
Box 2
William Clarkson Johnson
Box 2
Arthur B. Johnson
Box 2
Savage
John Savage
Box 3
Misc.
Box 12
Series II. Documents
Edward Savage
Boxes 5, 6, 11
John Savage
Boxes 3, 5, 6, 11
Savage family
Box 3
Adams family
Box 4
Johnson family
Boxes 4, 5, 6
Series III. Miscellaneous
Genealogy/Family History
Boes 4, 5, 7
Photographs
Box 4
Miscellaneous Adams, Savage, and Johnson Family Items
Boxes 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12
Documents Not Related to the Adams, Savage, and Johnson Families
Box 3
Presidential Signatures
Boxes 5, 4, 6, 11
Series IV. Digital Images

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Adams
Abigail Adams
Box 1 Folder 1
Abigail Adams to her daughter-in-law Sarah Adams
4 letters: February 23, 1806; January 20, 1808; July 3, 1814; December 20, 1814
Box 1 Folder 2
Abigail Adams to Sarah Adams
3 letters: April 24, 1816; May 20, 1816; July 28, 1816
Box 1 Folder 3
Abigail Adams to Sarah Adams
5 letters: March 20, 1817; April 12, 1817; May 5, 1817; May 28, 1817; August 3, 1817
Box 1 Folder 4
A letter from Sarah Adams to Abigail Adams
Box 1 Folder 5
Abigail Adams to her granddaughter Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson
5 letters: July 23, 1811; March 5, 1812; September 9, 1813; October 26, 1814; December 9, 1816
John Adams
Box 1 Folder 6
John Adams to his daughter-in-law Sarah Adams
2 letters: October 26, 1814; October 2, 1820
Box 1 Folder 7
A letter from John Adams to his granddaughter's husband Alexander B. Johnson
December 17, 1820
John Quincy Adams
Box 1 Folder 8
Miscellaneous letters to and from John Quincy Adams
3 letters - to Samuel Shaw: September 27, 1824; to and from his niece Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson: February 22, 1825
Charles Adams
Box 1 Folder 9
Charles Adams to his brother Thomas B. Adams
5 letters: May 23, 1790; May 29, 1790; November 21, 1790; August 30, 1791; September 18, 1791
Sarah Adams
Box 1 Folder 10
Susan B. Adams to her mother Sarah Adams
Box 1 Folder 11
Susan B. Adams to Sarah Adams
5 letters: July 31, 1816; September 14, 1816; October 3, 1816; March 11, 1817; April 8, 1817
Box 1 Folder 12
Charles Thomas Clark to his mother-in-law Sarah Adams
2 letters: May 20, 1816; March 23, 1818
Box 1 Folder 13
Susan B. Clark to her mother Sarah Adams
7 letters: July 12, 1826; August 14, 1826; March 10, 1827; March 23, 1827; April 5, 1827; April 30, 1827; May 21, 1827
Box 1 Folder 14
A letter from Susan M. Clark to her grandmother Sarah Adams
August 13, 1827
Box 2 Folder 1
Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson to her mother Sarah Adams
3 letters: October 10, 1823; October 22, 1826; October 23, 1826
Box 2 Folder 2
Belinda Clarkson to her sister Sarah Adams
7 letters: May 14, 1815; April 1, 1818; May 12, 1818; April 28, 1819; February 24, 1820; September 28, n.y.; November 14, n.y.)
Box 2 Folder 3
Margaret de St. Hilaire to her sister Sarah Adams
4 letters: August 5, 1815; October 3, 1815; November 16, 1815; February 15, 1822
Box 2 Folder 4
Miscellaneous letters to Sarah Adams
4 letters - from G. Le Ray de Chaumont: August 15, 1808; Peter Whitney: June 5, 1813; her niece Mary Ann Smith: September 4, 1826; her brother William Smith: n.d.)
Box 2 Folder 5
Miscellaneous letters from Sarah Adams
4 letters - to her daughter Susan B. Adams: May 10, 1812; her sister Margaret de St. Hilaire: August 19, 1815; her sister Nancy: June 27, 1816; her brother William Smith: February 8, 1817
Box 5 Folder 1
Ann Masters to her sister Sarah Adams
2 letters: October 13, 1817; December 22, 1819
Box 5 Folder 2
Margaret Smith to her sister Sarah Adams
2 letters: n.d.
Box 5 Folder 3
A letter from James Smith to his aunt Sarah Adams
January 16, 1827
Johnson
Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson
Box 2 Folder 6
Belinda Clarkson to her niece Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson
4 letters: December 14, 1818; 1820; August 21, 1828; December 13, 1828
Box 2 Folder 7
Miscellaneous letters to Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson
4 letters - from her mother Sarah Adams: July 14, 1811; Elizabeth Peabody: January 20, 1815; her aunt Ann Herrod Adams: September 6, 1815; her cousin Louisa C. Smith: December 16, 1818
Box 2 Folder 8
Miscellaneous letters to Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson
4 letters - from Louisa: March 2, 1819; her cousin James Smith: January, 1821; Eliza Thompson: October 12, 1821; her aunt Ann Masters: February 18, n.y.)
Box 5 Folder 4
A letter from Alexander Smith Johnson to his mother Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson
July 26, 1831
Alexander B. Johnson
Box 2 Folder 9
Miscellaneous letters to and from Alexander B. Johnson
6 letters - from Sarah Adams: September 27, 1825; to Ann Masters: December 4, 1830; to and from Mrs. Ann Breese: December 11, 1830; to Ed. Crufts: August 17, 1842; to Ward Hunt: May 27, 1858
William Clarkson Johnson
Box 2 Folder 10
Miscellaneous letters to William Clarkson Johnson
4 letters - from his great aunt Louisa C. Adams: February 22, 1844; Chief Justice Samuel Nelson: March 4, 1844; Attorney General Caleb Cushing: March 24, 1861; W. Phillips: July 27, 1876
Arthur B. Johnson
Box 2 Folder 11
Miscellaneous letters to Arthur B. Johnson including an enclosed letter from the Duke of Wellington to Mrs. Robinson
2 letters - from Alexander B. Johnson: December 1, 1852; Charles Francis Adams: January 27, 1879
Savage
John Savage
Box 3 Folder 1
Correspondence between John Savage and A. Burr
7 letters: May 12, 1820; June 13, 1820; September 9, 1825; October 16, 1825; January 2, 1827; April 6, 1828; September 28, 1832
Box 3 Folder 2
Dewitt Clinton to John Savage
3 letters: July 10, 1816; February 26, 1818; December 31, 1821
Box 3 Folder 3
Miscellaneous letters to John Savage
4 letters - from Governor Daniel D. Tompkins: February 21, 1814; Nat. Cutting: March 24, 1817; J. Montefiore: March 13, 1820; A. Haring: May 23, 1820
Box 3 Folder 4
Miscellaneous letters to John Savage
5 letters - from Harry White: December 14, 1820; John A. Graham: November 26, 1827; Governor Nath. C. Picher: April 17, 1828; H. Clay: April 19, 1828: Jacob Van Ness: April 28, 1828
Box 3 Folder 5
Miscellaneous letters to John Savage
5 letters - from his father Edward Savage: April 6, 1829; Governor E. T. Throop: July 4, 1829; Governor W.C. Marcy: December 31, 1832; John A. Dix: November 18, 1835; Martin Van Buren: July 27, 1837
Misc.
Box 12
Photocopies of miscellaneous letters
Edward Savage
Box 5 Folder 5
Edward Savage Records: Pay Rolls of Captain Joshua Conckey's Company of Rangers (1776-1777)
4 documents
Box 5 Folder 6
Edward Savage Records (1776-1786)
7 documents
Box 11 Folder 3
. . . the Secretary's Office, Feb. 16 1784
Box 5 Folder 7
Edward Savage Records (1787-1832)
7 documents
Box 6 Folder 1
Edward Savage Records: Pay Roll of Captain Joshua Conckey's Company of Rangers (1776)
1 document
Box 6 Folder 2
Edward Savage Records: Appointments (1783-1813)
2 documents
Box 11 Folder 10
Edward Savage appointment as surrogate, 1783
John Savage
Box 3 Folder 7
Records of John Savage: Union College (1799)
2 documents
Box 3 Folder 8
Records of John Savage: Oration (1803)
Box 3 Folder 9
Records of John Savage (1802-1888)
7 documents
Box 11 Folder 1
Admission as Counselor at Law, Supreme Court (1806)
Box 11 Folder 2
Admission as Solicitor and Councilor at Law, Court of Chancery (1820)
Box 11 Folder 9
"I do here authorize and license him . . ." fourth line down (n.d.)
Box 5 Folder 8
Records of John Savage (1804-1863)
6 documents
Box 11 Folder 8
Commission for the honorable J. Savage as Chief Justice Jan. 29, 1823
Box 6 Folder 3
Records of John Savage (1802-1823)
9 documents
Box 11 Folder 7
Diploma from Union College: J. Savage 1802
Savage family
Box 3 Folder 10
Savage Records: Insurance Deeds (1863-1865)
4 documents
Box 3 Folder 11
Savage Records: Financial (1815-1865)
5 documents
Box 3 Folder 12
Last Will and Testament of John Savage (1863)
Box 3 Folder 13
Obituaries of John and Ruth Wheeler Savage (1863-1884)
2 documents
Adams family
Box 4 Folder 2
Poem by Robert Burns to Sally (Sarah) Adams (n.d.)
Box 4 Folder 3
Examination taken by Abigail Louisa Smith Adams (1814)
Box 4 Folder 4
Obituary Notices of Abigail Adams (1818)
2 documents
Johnson family
Box 4 Folder 1
Field Book by George Webster of John Johnson's property (1796)
Box 4 Folder 5
Proxy signed by Bryan Johnson, father of Alexander B. Johnson (1818)
Box 4 Folder 6
Extract from the Autobiography of Alexander B. Johnson: Lafayette (n.d.)
Box 4 Folder 7
Obituary Notices of Abigail Louisa Smith Johnson (1836)
2 documents
Box 4 Folder 8
Marriage Certificate of Arthur B. Johnson and Eliza S. Hunt (1859)
Box 4 Folder 9
Last Will and Testament of Alexander B. Johnson (1867)
Box 4 Folder 10
Obituary Notices of Alexander B. Johnson (1868)
Box 4 Folder 11
Handwritten obituary notice for Mary Ann Savage Hunt who died in 1846. Believed to be written by Montgomery Hunt Johnson Sr. (n.d.)
Box 4 Folder 12
Obituary Notice of Lieutenant John S. Hunt who died in 1864 (n.d.)
Box 4 Folder 13
Notices from the Colonial Dames to Eliza S. Johnson (1905-1906)
2 documents
Box 4 Folder 14
Three stock certificates belonging to Montgomery Hunt Johnson for shares in Utica Plantations, Inc. and Sconondoa Inn, Inc. (1915-1920)
Box 5 Folder 9
Johnson Records (1805-1830)
4 documents
Box 5 Folder 10
Will and settlements of the estate of Maria T. Hunt, second wife of Ward Hunt (1883-1913)
Box 5 Folder 11
Wills and settlements of the estate of Eliza S. Johnson (1897-1906)
3 documents
Box 5 Folder 12
Documents regarding Ward Hunt Johnson and his trustees Mary S. Johnson and Montgomery H. Johnson (1909-1937)
2 documents
Box 6 Folder 4
Johnson Records: Arthur B. Johnson's commission as Commissioner of Railroads signed by President Chester A. Arthur (1882)
Genealogy/Family History
Box 4 Folder 21
"Semitic Notes": Johnson Family History (n.d.)
Box 5 Folder 16
Genealogy of the Johnson, Adams, Smith, Bosch, Het, Quincy, Fowle, Boylston, Shepard, Norton, and Bass Families (n.d.)
Box 5 Folder 17
Handwritten Family Record of the Savage, Wheeler, and Hunt Families (n.d.)
Box 5 Folder 18
Ancestral Tablets (n.d.)(photocopy)
Box 7 Folder 3
Lyman Family and Wheeler Family Record (n.d.)
Photographs
Box 4 Folder 17
Photograph of the Savage House in Salem, N.Y. (n.d.)
Box 4 Folder 19
Photographs of the Garden at the Old Johnson House at 235 Genesee St., Utica, N.Y. (n.d.)
4 pictures
Box 4 Folder 20
Photograph of Ward Hunt (n.d.)
Miscellaneous Adams, Savage, and Johnson Family Items
Box 4 Folder 16
Lock of John Adams' hair (n.d.)
Box 5 Folder 15
Report from the President and Directors of the Ontario Bank. Believed to be written by Alexander B. Johnson (n.d.)
Box 7 Folder 1
Edward Savage's New York Pocket Almanac (1790)
Box 7 Folder 2
John Savage's "Horse Back Journey" (1817)
Box 7 Folder 4
Music Book Belonging to John Savage (n.d.)
Box 7 Folder 5
Autograph Album Belonging to Ward Hunt Johnson
Includes signatures from R. B. Hayes, Hamilton Fish, M. R. Waite (Chief Justice-U.S. Supreme Court), Nathan Clifford (Assoc. Justice-U.S. Supreme Court), N. H. Swayne (Assoc. Justice-U.S. Supreme Court), Sam. J. Miller (Assoc. Justice- U.S. Supreme Court), David Davis (Assoc. Justice-U.S. Supreme Court), [Stephen Field] (Assoc. Justice-U.S. Supreme Court), W. S. Strong (Assoc. 7 5 1877 (cont.) Justice-U.S. Supreme Court), Jos. P. Bradley (Assoc. Justice-U.S. Supreme Court), Ward Hunt (Assoc. Justice-U.S. Supreme Court), W. A. Wheeler (Vice President), T. W. Henry (President of the Senate of the U.S.), Francis Kernan, Wm. M. Evarts, (Secretary of State), John Sherman (Secretary of the Treasury), Geo. W. McCrary (Secretary of War), R. W. Thompson (Secretary of the Navy), Carl Schurz (Secretary of the Interior ), D. M. Key (Post Master General), Chas. Davis (Attorney General), W. T. Sherman (General), P. H. Sheridan, Wm. M. Evarts, Alexander Stephens, Joseph Henry (President of the Smithsonian Institute), illegible, Wm. Ingraham Kip, John G. Whittier, Th. Nast, William Cullen Bryant, Geo. Bancroft, piece of manuscript with annotation "Part of original of one of Cooper's novels," letter from Alfred B. Street, Henry W. Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Donald G. Mitchell, Edwin Booth, Henry Ward Beecher, Celia Thaxter.
Box 8 Folder 1
Scrapbook containing charcoal and color drawings, some of which are signed by Laura Savage (1838-1856)
Box 8 Folder 2
Journal with accounts and essays, possibly belonging to Alexander B. Johnson (1806)
Box 9
Alexander Bryan Johnson Autobiography, transcribed by Eliza Stringham Morton (1930)
Volume I: 1786-1814
Volume II: 1814-1828
Box 10
Alexander Bryan Johnson Autobiography, transcribed by Eliza Stringham Morton (1930)
Volume III: 1828-1839
Volume IV: 1839-1867
Box 12
Newspaper clippings (1996)
Documents Not Related to the Adams, Savage, and Johnson Families
Box 3 Folder 6
Miscellaneous letters (1796-1852)
7 letters - from Montgomery Hunt to his sister Lydia Wheeler: May 12, 1796; Ann Smith to Julia Rush: May 30, 1809; R. W. [Crawmshield] to Dr. J. Mairs: April 4, 1815; M. Hunt to Ephraim Hart: January 21, 1820; Martin Van Buren to Ward Hunt: September 26, 1846; Mrs. [Rainier] to Mr. Hunt: November 16, 1846; [Nath] Sherman to Geo. Peabody: May 27, 1852
Presidential Signatures
Box 5 Folder 13
Discharge of Abraham McKillip signed by President George Washington (1783)
Box 5 Folder 14
Land Grant Certificates signed by President James Monroe (1817-1818)
Grant to Daniel Harrington
Box 11 Folder 4
Warrant #4120 to Sylvester Rowley Dec. 19, 1817 (Military)
Box 11 Folder 5
Warrant [121] to Eliphalet Peabody Nov. 29, 1817 (Military)
Box 11 Folder 6
Warrant #3079 to Benjamin Bailey April 3, 1818
Box 4 Folder 15
Autographs of John Quincy Adams (n.d.)
5 envelopes
Box 4 Folder 18
Autographed engraving of Ulysses S. Grant (n.d.)
Box 6 Folder 4
Johnson Records: Arthur B. Johnson's commission as Commissioner of Railroads signed by President Chester A. Arthur (1882)
Linen copy of the Declaration of Independence

SEPARATED MATERIAL

Publications Removed From Collection 4928 - To Be Cataloged Separately: