Edith Duncan Johnston papers
New Search | Return to Search Results | View/Save/Print PDF

Edith Duncan Johnston papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Johnston, Edith Duncan.
Title: Edith Duncan Johnston papers
Dates: 1880-1962
Extent: 4.05 cubic feet (10 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Identification: MS 0433

Biographical/Historical Note

Edith Duncan Johnston (1878-1963) was born in Savannah, Georgia, the daughter of James Houstoun Johnston and Eugenia Cunningham Duncan Johnston. She was active in cultural, patriotic, social, and religious circles in Savannah. She was Secretary of the Savannah Girl Scouts, 1912-1913, 1915-1917, and was the first National Secretary of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 1913-1914. From 1919-1929, she was the Publicity Director for the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia and from 1920-1926, she was the Executive Secretary of the Field Department. Johnston was also one of the founders of the Savannah Historical Research Association, author of The Houstouns of Georgia (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1949), editor of The Kollock Letters published serially in The Georgia Historical Quarterly (v. XXX-v. XXXII, September 1946-June 1948), and author of several historical articles.


Scope and Content Note

This collection consists primarily of Edith Duncan Johnston's research and writing. There are a few personal papers, mostly greeting cards sent to her in her later years. The research, notes, and drafts of The Houstouns of Georgia comprise a large portion of this collection. Johnston compiled clippings and information about the events following the publication of the book into several scrapbooks which she titled "The Legend of the Houstouns." The writings also include her memoirs of the early days in the Girl Scout movement in the United States and various historical sketches of early Georgians. Johnston also compiled several scrapbooks relating the history of Savannah, its people, events, and architecture.

Also included in the collection are personal and family photographs, as well as images collected by Johnston for her scrapbooks and her research. The majority of images are identified. Subject matter includes photographs from trips up the east Coast and into Florida; photographs of the Savannah Historical Pageant; military encampments; and Sunday school picnics. Photographs in her scrapbooks include images of buildings in the Savannah Historic District that are now demolished; photos of Houstoun descendants and the ancestral home; and photos of Georgia plantations, including Wild Heron and Mulberry Grove.

The photo album of September 1898 includes photos of New Castle and other miscellaneous New Hampshire locations; Jamaica Island; miscellaneous non-Georgia islands; Johnston family members; Halifax; Washington, D.C. and Mt. Vernon; Greenwich, Connecticut; photos on board the ship Kansas City on the return trip; Johnston children playing; 1st Texas and 2nd Louisiana Regiments and their transport leaving for Havana, December 24, 1898; interior of Christ Church; views of Savannah; interior views of 217 East Charlton St.; Rome, Ga.; North Carolina; Strathy Hall, Bryan County, Ga.; Sunday school picnics on Warsaw Island; Charleston, S.C.; Professor Morton's School for Boys; Chautauqua, N.Y.; circus parade (probably in Chautauqua, N.Y.); Elizabeth, N.J.; cavalry encampment held at Fair Grounds, July 1903. Identified people include William and Susie Johnston; Marion Johnston; Sophy Johnston; Delia Bryan Page Johnston; James and Eugenia Johnston; Emma Walthour; Edith D. Johnston; G.H. King; Saidee H. King; Mr. Mansfield; Charles B. Capterton; Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Ridgely; Leona Grady and Celia (nanny); Frances Nightingale; Alice West; Annie Maclean; Gertrude Billington; Sadie Poe; Josephine Weed; Garrard Haines; Moultrie Lee; Sarah Richards; Mrs. Guy Howard; Dr. Lawrence Lee; Clifford West.

Some photographs are included throughout the collection (box 2, folders 5, 7, 9; box 3, folders 5, 6, 10, box 4, folders 1-2; box 5, folders 2, 3, 10; box 6, folders 1, 3-6); box 7, folders 1, 2, 4, 5). Two boxes containing photographs only are noted as "VM" (visual materials) in the collection inventory.


Index Terms

Christ Church (Savannah, Ga.)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Diaries.
Dwellings--Georgia--Savannah.
Georgia--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Girl Scouts--Georgia--Savannah.
Houston family.
Houstoun, John, 1744-1796.
Houstoun, Priscilla, 1784-1837.
Houstoun, Robert James Mossman, 1785-1818.
Hurricanes--Georgia--Savannah.
Johnston family.
Johnston, Andrew, 1735-1801.
Johnston, Edith Duncan.
Johnston, Eugenia Marion, approximately 1865-1938.
Kollock family.
Letters (correspondence)
Low, Juliette Gordon, 1860-1927.
Military camps--Georgia.
Monuments--Georgia--Savannah.
Pageants--Georgia--Savannah.
Pearson family.
Photographs.
Plantations--Georgia.
Public spaces--Georgia--Savannah.
Research notes.
Saint Catherines Island (Ga.)
Savannah (Ga.)--Description and travel.
Savannah (Ga.)--History.
Savannah Historic District (Savannah, Ga.)
Scrapbooks.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from creator and niece of creator.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Edith Duncan Johnston papers, MS 433, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Edith Duncan Johnston, 1962; estate of Edith Duncan Johnston, Mrs. Hines Roberts, 1963.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Separated Material

Artifacts and Portraits were separated and cataloged with the Georgia Historical Society Artifacts Collection. View digital images of artifacts at the end of this collection inventory or search the Digital Image Catalog for further information.


Sponsorship

Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

 

Box

Fldr

11Item 1: Diary of Eugenia Marion Johnston (Edith Duncan Johnston's sister), 1881-1887
Social life and cultural events in Savannah.
 
2Items 2-5: Edith Duncan Johnston correspondence, 1960-1962
Letter from Beatrice F. Lang regarding "Dungeness" on Cumberland Island and the cemetery at Mariana, Camden County; letters to and from Lee Banks, regarding article on tabby ruins Johnston was submitting for the Savannah Morning News-Evening Press Magazine; letter from George E. Patterson, congratulating Johnston on her birthday.
 
3Items 6-14: Cards, 1962
"Easter Cards (April 12) and otherwise from friends 1962."
 
4Items 15-19: Cards, 1962 June
"Cards...after my fall, June 7, 1962."
 
5Items 20-35: Birthday greetings, 1962 September
 
6Item 36: "Memory book", 1963
Lists of those who called, sent letters, floral tributes, letters, etc. for funeral services of Johnston, February 1963. Other letters laid in.
 
7-11Item 48: "My Work with the Girl Scouts and Juliette Low", 1912-1916, 1922-1927
Johnston's memoirs of the early days of the Girl Scout organization. Mostly handwritten, some letters and memorabilia laid in.
 
12Items 49-51: Girl Scouts. "Memory Lane," by Dorris Hough, excerpted from National Staff Reporter, with handwritten forward by Edith D. Johnston, 1952 January-June
Girl Scouts, a transcription, typed copy of the proceedings of the meeting of the Juliette Low Memorial Committee, at the National Board in Savannah, April 1, 1952, with handwritten introduction by Edith D. Johnston. "Exposing the Myth of the First Girl Scout," by Edith D. Johnston regarding: Daisy Gordon Lawrence (Mrs. Samuel Lawrence).
 
13Items 52-64: Girl Scouts, 1962
Correspondence re Girl Scouts and miscellaneous papers re the founding place and first location of the National Headquarters. Many of the papers by others have notes of correction or annotation by Johnston.
 
14Item 65: How Girls Can Help Their Country, (1916)
Leather bound book.
 
15Item 66: Photograph album. Girl Scouts, 1913-1915
 

Box

Fldr

21-3Item 67: The Houstouns of Georgia. Published by the University of Georgia Press, 1950
Unexpurgated copy, with quotation, etc. which in some instances were deleted.
 
4Item 68: Account book of Houstoun History. Payments for typing, materials etc.; receipts
 
5-12Item 69: The Legend of the Houstouns of Georgia, volume 1 after publication
Scrapbook kept by Johnston re The Houstouns of Georgia, its publication and publicity. List of visitors; list of telephone calls, visits, and meetings; list of letters and notes; list of long distance calls, speeches and entertainment, the jacket and title page design, where the plates were made, and for whom she autographed books; newspaper notices; Mayor's correspondence, lists of gifts and letters of thanks; lists of letters of appreciation, recognition of the book, reviewer's list and information re Literary Clipping Service; binder covers and loose items. Also includes photos of Johnston (1842, 1950); 3 photos of John Houstoun; 5 photos of Houstoun ancestral home and village in Scotland; and photo of Johnston with Girl Scouts, 1950.
 

Box

Fldr

31-3Item 70: The Legend of the Houstouns of Georgia, volume II after publication. Scrapbook
 
4-8Item 71: The Legend of the Houstouns of Georgia, volume III
Includes correspondence with Telamon Cruger Cuyler, 1948-1951, and others. Folder 5 includes 3 photos of the Pearson family of Pennington, NJ (Houstoun-Woodruff descendants); George Houstoun Pearson, Robert Edward Parson, Willis Houstoun Pearson, Mrs. Willis Pearson. Folder 6 includes photo of private cemetery on Talbot Island, Fl., showing tombstones of John Houstons (not Georgia Houstouns). Folder 10 includes photo of Clayton Houstoun Griffin by marker of Sir Patrick Houstoun (ancestor) and museum, both at Fort Frederica, 1958.
 
9-11Item 72: The Legend of the Houstouns of Georgia, vol. IV
Contains correspondence with Margaret Davis Cate, and information pertaining to Fort Frederica and Darien; additional correspondence with Margaret Davis Cate, and information on the Margaret Davis Cate Memorial Library at Fort Frederica, 1958-1962.
 

Box

Fldr

41-2Item 73: "Georgia Plantations of the Coast Country"
Notes on plantations in Chatham, Liberty, McIntosh, Bryan, Glynn, and Camden Counties; some photographs laid in. Folder 1 includes 3 photos of house at Wild Heron Plantation, before and after restoration, 1935. Folder 2 includes 3 photos of Montevideo Plantation and house; photo of tomb of Rev. C.C. Jones in Midway Cemetery and its "faithful guardians," an African American man and woman.
 
3-4Item 73: Historical Sketches, by Edith D. Johnston
Includes "The Houstoun Men: A Capsule;" Cunningham chart; "Pilgrimage to Cumberland Island;" "Rambling Through Camden County;" notes from W.W. Abbot's The Royal Governor's of Georgia; The Spanish Mission Feud; information regarding correct spelling of McDonough Street; letter from National Gallery of Canada re Tannat-Crooke family portrait.
 
5Item 74: "A Georgia Colonial: A True Chronicle of the Services of Captain George Dunbar of Georgia," by Edith Duncan Johnston
Handwritten manuscript.
 
6-8Item 75: "A Georgia Colonial: Capt. George Dunbar"
Typed manuscript on yellow copy paper (1st 13 pages missing).
 
9Item 76: "A Georgia Colonial." Notes
 
10Item 77: "A Georgia Colonial." Notes
 
11Items 78-78A: "A Georgia Colonial." Notes
 
12Item 78B: "A Georgia Colonial." Notes
 

Box

Fldr

51Items 79-85: "Andrew Johnston: A Loyalist Georgia Doctor," by Edith Duncan Johnston
Handwritten and typed copies, notes, correspondence with J. Calvin Weaver, M.D., 1930, regarding Dr. Andrew Johnston.
 
2Item 85A: "The Story of An Antique Dressing Case." The dressing case of Dr. William Duncan which Johnston gave to the Georgia Historical Society
Includes a photo of Matthew Hall McAllister; photo of William Duncan.
 
3Item 87: Miscellaneous writings. "Waring Recollections;" papers published in the Georgia Historical Quarterly, with contents, introduction, and marginal notes and addenda, by Edith D. Johnston, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1950
Includes photo of Gallaudet house on corner of Jones and Bull Streets, razed 1954.
 
4-7Items 88-99: Houstoun notes
 
8Item 100: Miscellaneous notes
 
9-11Item 101: "Years of Progress 1920-"
Scrapbook by E.D. Johnston. Folder 10 includes 2 photos of "Oaklands" near Trenton, NJ, home of Patrick Houstoun Woodruff.
 

Box

Fldr

61-2Item 102: "Architectural Treasures of Savannah"
Scrapbook. Folder 2 includes 2 photos of interior of John Houstoun House, demolished 1920.
 
3-6Item 103: "Historic Savannah, 1826-1860, Vol. I"
Scrapbook. Folder 3 includes photo of desk given by Oglethorpe to Raymond Demere; photo of tablet erected on Customs House in 1930; photo of site said to be Mary Musgrove's grave on St. Catherines Island; 4 photos of Mulberry Grove includes bricks of house. Folder 4 includes photo of Bonaventure; 4 photos of Christ Church (3 interior, 1 of communion silver service). Folder 5 includes 8 photos of St. Catherines Island (all 1928): 3 of Button Gwinnett's house, 2 African American men (Perry and Cain), 3 landscapes; photo of shores of Beaulieu where Count D'Estaing landed. Folder 6 includes photo of view from Independent Presbyterian Church, looking north, pre-1889.
 

Box

Fldr

71-2Item 103: "Historic Savannah, 1826-1860, Vol. I"
Scrapbook, continued. Folder 1 includes photo of the old Savannah Theatre; photo of Scarbrough House; photo of City Exchange (1905); photo of home of William Duncan, northeast corner Bryan and Abercorn, demolished 1916. Folder 2 includes photo of Forsyth Park, 1917; photo of Huger-Elliott House, corner State and Abercorn; photo of Christ Church interior (Easter day, 1900).
 
3-6Item 104: "Historic Savannah, 1861-194-, Vol. II"
Scrapbook. Folder 4 includes photo of Tybee Road, 1931; photo of Johnston's "old nurse" Maria Glen (daughter of "Maum Bess" who was owned by Johnston's grandmother, Mrs. James R. Johnston); photo of 132 Gaston, James H. Johnston's house; print "Going to Market" (also in 1361FL); print "Savannah's Sesquicentennial Celebration (also in 1361FL). Folder 5 includes print "Landing of Oglethorpe;" print "Celebration of Chatham Artillery" (also in 1361FL); "new" penny from 1942.
 

Box

Fldr

81Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. III: Historical Collections
Published book includes notes and annotations by Johnston and clippings.
 
2Photocopies of clippings from Historical Collections
 
3Collections of the Georgia Historical Society Vol. IV: Dead Towns of Georgia
Published book includes notes and annotations by Johnston and clippings.
 
4Photocopies of clippings from Dead Towns of Georgia
 
186"Triennial of the Woman's Auxiliary," by Edith D. Johnston
 

vm_box

Fldr

11Photos on black scrapbook pages. View images: 1 | 2.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
Crumbling; typed transcription of captions included in folder. Photos from a trip to Florida, March 11-24, 1919; North Carolina; Blythewood; Savannah scenes, includes interior views of 217 East Charlton; Episcopal Reverends.
 

vm_box

Fldr

12Photos on black scrapbook pages. View images: 1 | 2.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
Crumbling; typed transcription of captions included in folder. Photos from the Savannah Historical Pageant, April 24, 1919. Also 1 page of photos of 1st train into Germany, 1918.
 

vm_box

Volume

11Photograph album, 1898 September
Photographs from a New England/East Coast trip and miscellaneous photographs, all identified.
 

vm_box

Fldr

21Miniature watercolors of Priscilla Houstoun (1784-1837) and Robert James Mossman Houstoun (1785-1818), 1784-1837. View images: 1 | 2.
Drawn in May and June of 1795, by David Boudon of Geneva, Switzerland.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized
 

vm_box

Fldr

22Ambrotype of George Houstoun View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized
 

vm_box

Fldr

Item

2337-46Photographs of Edith D. Johnston, from baby to adult. photograph of Eugenia Marion Johnston, circa 1882
Photograph taken at Forsyth Park Fountain, 1888 of Helen Hardee, Lillie Hill, Belle Stoddard, Marie Hardee, and Bessie Johnston.
 

vm_box

Fldr

24Miscellaneous photographs. None identified
Include images of children and young adults, an interior view of a church (Wesley Monumental?), landscapes, and images of waterfalls (Niagra Falls?).
 

vm_box

Fldr

25Photographs loose from manuscript scrapbooks
Photo of Bob Pearson; photo of Edmund Molyneux's house; photos of Refuge Plantation.
 
Artifacts
A-0433-001 John Houstoun’s silver watch View online.
A-0433-005 Gentlemen’s dressing case. View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31.
A-0433-006 Silver plate engraved Dr. W. Duncan Sav’h. Ga. View online.
 
Portraits
A-1361-149 Portrait of John Houstoun View online.
A-1361-150 Portrait of William Houstoun by Archibald Robertson View online.