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Guy Johnson papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 494
Scope and Contents

The Guy Johnson Papers consists of correspondence, journals, documents, and maps by or about Guy Johnson. The collection, spanning the dates 1773-1831, is housed in 3 boxes and comprises 1.77 linear feet. There are three series: Series I, Correspondence, Series II, Journals and Memorandum Books, Series III, Other Papers. Box 3 contains Oversize material.

Series I, Correspondence spans the dates 1773-1831. The early correspondence (1773-1774) includes letters from and to Guy's uncle William Johnson, and concern his illness and desire for his nephew Guy Johnson to succeed him as Indian Affairs Superintendant. William's correspondents include the Earl of Dartmouth, Secretary of State for the Colonies, and General Thomas Gage. Letters from 1775 concern the loyalty of the Six Nations to the British, and includes an intercepted letter from Ethan Allen, written after his advance on Canada. Guy's correspondents include the Earl of Dartmouth, Daniel Claus, Peter Van Brugh Livingston, and Allan Maclean. Two later letters are from Johnson family members and concern compensation sought for Johnson's expenses during the war.

Series II, Journals and Memorandum Books , 1775-1782, is organized into two subseries: Guy Johnson and Others. Two journals kept by Guy Johnson date from 1775-1776, and 1781. The first journal records his visit to London and return to America on July 29, 1776, and includes an account of Howe's operations on Long Island and the capture of Fort Washington by General Knyphausen. The second journal contains daily reports of Indian raids, news and messages received, and information from prisoners. There are a number of references to Joseph Brant, Mohawk Indian chief, who led four of the six Iroquois Indians on the British side in the war. Johnson's memorandum and account book is dated 1776-1782 and contains his official accounts. Penned at the back are extensive notes about Indian movements. The other journal, written by an unidentified officer posted at Kadaragoras, a settlement built for the Senecas, contains reports on enemy movements.

Series III, Other Papers , 1775-1825, is organized into three subseries: Documents, Maps and Illustrations, and Other Papers. Documents contain formal proclamations by the magistrates of Schenectady and Albany, and by the Mohawks, dated May 1775, stating their mutual wishes for neutrality in the war. A manuscript by Colonel John Butler records the proceedings of 18 councils with the Six Nations and the Canadian Indians, from October, 1775 to June 1776. A manuscript plat map drawn by Guy Johnson of the Townships of Gage and Burton in Nova Scotia is undated. The rest of the papers relate to attempts by Johnson's family to obtain compensation for Johnson's expenses during the war.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Guy Johnson Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased by Paul Mellon from Lionel and Philip Robinson, Ltd., 1962. Bequest of Paul Mellon (Yale 1929), 2000.

1.77 Linear Feet ((3 boxes) + 1 broadside folder)
Related Names
Johnson, Guy, approximately 1740-1788
Language of Materials