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Obadiah Johnson papers

Call Number: MS 304

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, notebooks, military commissions, and other military papers of Colonel Obadiah Johnson make up the bulk of this collection. Included are items such as orderly books, receipt books, and account books for the 21st Regiment of the Connecticut Militia, a notebook entitled "Journal of the Army at Sampton and Chatham" (1776-1777), as well as assorted documents signed by such persons as John Hancock and Jonathan Trumbull. Taken together, the papers provide information on the Revolutionary War activities of the Connecticut Militia and form the basis of the history of the 21st regiment.

Also represented in the collection are members of Johnson's family, namely his great-great-great-grandfather Edward Johnson (1598-1672) of Woburn, Massachussetts; his father, Obadiah Johnson (1702-1765); his second wife, Lucy (Cady) Spaulding (1742-1814), and in particular, his son, John Johnson (1774-1854). Further information on the family can be found in History and Genealogy of One Line of Descent from Captain Edward Johnson, by Alfred Johnson. Most of the John Johnson correspondence concerns applications for pensions by members of the 21st Regiment. Finally, xerox copies of various printed pamphlets, broadsides, and so forth (1774-1816) are included in the collection. The originals have been transferred to the Beinecke Rare Book library.

A detailed list of the contents of this collection is available in the register file of Manuscripts and Archives. The papers were given to Yale University by Frederick Morgan Johnson in 1916.


  • 1664-1844


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Frederick Morgan Johnson, June 1916.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box, 1 folio)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The bulk of the collection is made up of correspondence, notebooks, military commissions and other military papers, reflecting his service during the American Revolution. Also in the papers are letters (1802-1804) from his son, mostly relating to pensions for members of the Twenty-first regiment. Other members of the family represented in the collection include his great-great grandfather, Edward Johnson, his father, Obadiah Johnson and his second wife, Lucy Cady Spaulding. Also among the papers are contemporary printed pamphlets and broadsides.

Biographical / Historical

Major of the Third Connecticut Regiment, 1775; served during the siege of Boston and at Bunker Hill; in 1776 he was Lt. Col. of Col. Andrew Ward's regiment, which joined Washington's Army at Fort Lee, New York; in 1777 appointed Col. of the Twenty-first Connecticut Militia; in 1778 served with the regiment in Rhode Island; resigned his commission Mar. 16, 1784.

Guide to the Obadiah Johnson Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
June 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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