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Josiah Stoddard Johnston papers


Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Josiah Stoddard Johnston (1784-1833) was born in Connecticut, raised in Kentucky, and settled in the Louisiana Territory in 1805. He graduated from Transylvania University in 1802 and later studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1814, he married Eliza Sibley, daughter of John Sibley (1757-1837), of Natchitoches, Louisiana. Together they had one child, William Stoddard Johnston (1816-1839). In addition to practicing law in Alexandria, Louisiana, Johnston was a member of the territorial legislature, state judge, congressman (1821-1823) and United States senator until his accidental death in 1833. His widow, Eliza Sibley Johnston, subsequently married ex-Attorney General Henry D. Gilpin (1801-1860) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Josiah Stoddard Johnston papers have been arranged into three series: Correspondence, Financial and political papers, and Miscellaneous papers. Correspondence is arranged chronologically/ Some items contain information on the 1824 presidential contest between John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, and Andrew Jackson. Among the numerous correspondents in the collection are United States Minister to France James Brown, Judge A. Porter, Edward Everett, Matthew S. Quay, R.W. Stoddard, William Shaler, Henry D. Gilpin, Nicholas Biddle, John H. Johnston, and others. Some of the topics and issues discussed in these papers are the Anti-Masonic movement, the re-charter of the United States Bank, Judge Peck's impeachment, French spoliation claims, tariffs, sugar cane and refined sugar, territorial expansion, and legislation before Congress.

A large portion of the material relates to political affairs in Louisiana, the building of roads and canals, land claims, memorials to Congress, cotton, slavery, requests for governmental positions, and election to office. Henry Clay's letters, 1824-1833, deal with his personal aspirations and his bitterness against Andrew Jackson. An 1825 letter from Thomas Jefferson discusses the writings of Johnston’s own father in-law, Dr. John Sibley. There are also letters from Dr. John Sibley from 1821-1832, an invitation to a reception tendered to Marquis de Lafayette in 1824, family letters disclosing Senator Johnston's personal affairs and financial transactions and some personal items of William S. Johnston, especially correspondence between him and his mother, Eliza Sibley Johnston.

Gift of Gilpin family.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Allison Sharkey
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, 1821-March 1824.
Box 1
Correspondence, April-December 1824.
Box 2
Correspondence, 1825.
Box 3
Correspondence, 1826.
Box 4
Correspondence, 1827.
Box 5
Correspondence, 1828.
Box 6
Correspondence, 1829.
Box 7
Correspondence, 1830.
Box 8
Correspondence, 1831.
Box 9
Correspondence, 1832.
Box 10
Correspondence, 1833-1839.
Box 11

Bills and accounts; Personal accounts, 1820-1839, undated; 1821-1833.
Box 12
Bills and accounts; Bank books, 1816-1829; 1828, 1821-1833,1838-1839, undated.
Box 13
Notes on banks and tariff, undated.
Box 14 Folder 1
British-French shipping, undated.
Box 14 Folder 2
U.S. government expenditures, January 1, 1817-December 31, 1827.
Box 14 Folder 3
Speeches: J. Monroe, H. Johnson, Mr. Johnson, 1824, undated.
Box 14 Folder 4
Petitions, protests and resolutions, 1826, 1827, 1830, undated.
Box 14 Folder 5
Duties, duty reductions, importation violations, tonnage and weight lists, 1824, 1827-1830.
Box 14 Folder 6
Outfit of ministries; speech on consular system of U.S., 1828, undated.
Box 14 Folder 7
Presidential campaign; Anti-Masonry notes, 1829, 1832, undated.
Box 14 Folder 8
Reduction of duty on sugar, 1830-1832.
Box 14 Folder 9
Miscellaneous notes including impeachment notes, undated.
Box 14 Folder 10

Letter (French), June 12, 1795.
Box 15 Folder 1
Deeds; Map of Mississippi River mouth, 1808, 1809, 1813, 1820, 1828, 1831, 1835, 1836.
Box 15 Folder 2
Agreements, September 1820, August 1826, undated.
Box 15 Folder 3
Legal appointments and court trials, 1823, 1825-1827, 1838, 1839.
Box 15 Folder 4
Price lists and production, import-export statistics, 1826-1831.
Box 15 Folder 5
Indian population, social welfare appeal, "Three Eras in the Life of an Outcast" manuscript by Louis Fitzgerald Tasistro, 1832, undated.
Box 15 Folder 6
Claims of inhabitants, 1824, 1826.
Box 15 Folder 7
Names, name cards, invitations, undated.
Box 15 Folder 8
Horse newspaper clippings, other clippings & other printed materials, undated.
Box 15 Folder 9
Negroes and slave trade, care of negroes, 1821, 1826, 1827, 1832, undated.
Box 15 Folder 10

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