Guide to the Jefferson Deems Johnson Papers, 1915-1980
Lawyer, judge, and state senator, of Clinton and Raleigh, N.C.
Correspondence, printed matter, clippings, and other papers, relating mainly to North Carolina politics, especially the senatorial campaigns of 1948 and 1950. Includes legislative papers (1937-1941) on Johnson's service in the North Carolina Senate; material relating to tobacco-production quotas under the Agricultural Adjustment Administration; materials from Johnson's judicial career; and papers from Joseph Melville Broughton, North Carolina Governor and senator, and Frank Porter Graham, U.S. Senator and president of the University of North Carolina. Correspondents include Broughton, Graham, and Samuel Lubbell.
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
- Johnson, Jefferson Deems, Jr., 1900-1960
- Jefferson Deems Johnson Papers, 1915-1980
- Language of Material
- 7.0 Linear Feet, 2720 Items
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
The collection includes correspondence, printed matter, clippings, and other papers, relating mainly to North Carolina politics, especially the senatorial campaigns of 1948 and 1950. Includes legislative papers (1937-1941) on Johnson's service in the North Carolina Senate, material relating to tobacco-production quotas under the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, material from his service on the Supreme Court of N.C., and materials from Joseph Melville Broughton, North Carolina Governor and senator, and Frank Porter Graham, U.S. Senator and president of the University of North Carolina. Correspondents include Broughton, Graham, and Samuel Lubbell.
The Campaign Recordings series consists of original audio recordings from the 1948 and 1950 Senatorial campaigns. These are closed to use due to preservation concerns. Please contact Research Services if you are interested in these materials.
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Correspondence to or from Jefferson Johnson, including professional and legal messages, personal notes, and family letters. Includes both handwritten and typed letters. Box 14 includes letters from well-wishers regarding Johnson's illness and retirement, 1956-1959.
Boxes 1-3 are blue clamshell boxes from the original 1963 collection. Box 14 is a flip-top box from the 2011 accession.
Includes internal notes, plans, memoranda, addresses, and press releases from Johnson's time as a campaign manager during the Senatorial campaigns of 1948 (J. Melville Broughton) and 1950 (Frank Graham). Also includes clippings and printed materials from Graham's campaign, both from Graham and his opponent, Willis Smith. Many of Smith's materials are racist.
Many of these materials are in poor condition due to water damage.
Boxes are blue clamshell boxes from the original 1963 addition.
This series includes a large amount of material relating to Johnson's life and career beyond his campaign management positions. It includes materials from his fraternity at Trinity College (now Duke University), and some references to his baseball career. Larger amounts of materials relate to his judicial and legislative careers throughout North Carolina. Also includes materials documenting his friendship with Frank Graham. Finally, the series includes clippings relating to his illness, retirement, and death in 1960. Additional correspondence regarding these topics can be found in the Correspondence Series.
Boxes 7 and 8 are blue clamshell boxes. Boxes 15 and 16 are flip-top boxes.
Includes newspaper clippings, flyers, brochures, and excerpts about Johnson's life and career, Frank Graham's life and career, J. Melville Broughton's life and career, and other miscellaneous topics. Also includes one folder of clippings on Senator Jesse Helms' role in the Willis Smith campaign against Graham in 1950.
Boxes 9 and 10 are blue clamshell boxes. Box 15 is a flip-top box.
16", 12", and 5" records and discs from Frank Graham's 1950 Senatorial campaign. Also includes an unlabeled recording.
[Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact a reference archivist before coming to use this collection.]
Miscellaneous family materials, as well as one memoir on NC Civil War and Reconstruction sent to Johnson by an aquaintance in 1955.
Box 7 is a blue clamshell box. Box 16 is a flip-top box.
Originally from Garland, North Carolina, Jefferson D. Johnson, Jr., attended Garland High School and Trinity Park School in Durham before enrolling in Trinity College in 1919. He served as a private in World War I before returning to college and graduating with a B.A. in 1923. Johnson was an active member of Trinity's Sigma Chi fraternity and also played semi-professional baseball. After teaching for a year, he returned to Trinity and earned a law degree in 1926. In 1935, he married Frances Faison. The couple eventually had three children.
Johnson became the Town Attorney for Clinton, N.C., and served from 1928-1941. He also successfully ran for State Senator of the 9th District in 1937 and 1941. In 1941, he was appointed Special Superior Court Judge, where he served until 1945. He managed the successful U.S. Senate campaign of J. Melville Broughton in 1948, as well as the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Franklin P. Graham in 1950. The 1950 campaign was extremely controversial, with Graham's opponent, Willis Smith, using racist language and personal attacks on Graham to gather the support of white voters afraid of desegregation.
In that same year, 1950, Johnson was elected Associate Justice of the State Supreme Court. He served until forced to retire from illness in 1959. He died shortly afterward in 1960.
- Johnson, Jefferson Deems, Jr., 1900-1960.
- Graham, Frank Porter, 1886-1972.
- Lubbell, Samuel.
- Broughton, J. Melville (Joseph Melville), 1888-1849.
- United States. Agricultural Adjustment Administration.
- North Carolina. General Assembly--Elections.
- Governors--North Carolina.
- North Carolina--Politics and government--1865-1950.
- Politicians--North Carolina.
- Tobacco--North Carolina.
- United States. Congress--Elections.
- Elections--United States.
[Identification of item], Jefferson Deems Johnson Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The Jefferson Deems Johnson Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1963 and in 2011.
Processed by Rubenstein Staff, 1963, and Meghan Lyon, September 2011
Encoded by Meghan Lyon, September 2011
Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 1963; 2011-0170
This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.
Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.