Menu

Guide to the Jefferson Deems Johnson Papers, 1915-1980

Abstract

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.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Johnson, Jefferson Deems, Jr., 1900-1960
Title
Jefferson Deems Johnson papers 1915-1980
Language of Material
English
Extent
7.0 Linear Feet, 2720 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

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.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

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.

warning Use Restrictions

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.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1928-1959

(4 boxes; 4 lin. ft.)

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.

1928-1947
Box 1
1948-1950, May
Box 2
1950, June-1955
Box 3
1950-1959 and undated
Box 14

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.

General papers from the 1948 NC Senatorial campaign
Box 4
Memoranda
Box 5
Notes from telephone conversations about the campaign
Box 5
Press releases and statements
Box 5
Addresses
Box 6
NC voting records, 1950
Box 6
Frank Graham's statements of contributions and expenditures; other financial records, 1950
Box 6
Miscellany
Box 6
Campaign workers and mailing lists
Box 6
Printed materials from the NC Senatorial campaign, 1950
Box 11
Clippings from the NC Senatorial campaign, 1950
Box 12

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.

Drafts of addresses by Johnson and notes for his addresses, 1930-1946
Box 7
Legislative papers, 1937-1941
Box 8
Trinity College Sigma Chi fraternity, 1919-1925
Box 15
Duke athletics, 1940
Box 15
Judicial oaths, 1943
Box 15
Judicial elections and appointments, 1941-1950
Box 15
Personal court matters, 1952-1959 and undated
Box 15
Correspondence, etc., 1950s
Box 15
"This Is America" draft, 1950
Box 15
Pro-Graham campaign materials, 1950
Box 15
Anti-Graham campaign materials, 1950
Box 15
Frank Graham Portrait Committee, 1955-1956
Box 15
Speeches, 1953 and undated
Box 16
Pictures of Johnson and others, undated
(2 folders)
Box 16
Johnson's retirement, 1959
Box 16
Johnson's wills, 1926-1950 and undated
Box 16
Johnson's obituaries, 1960
Box 16
Miscellaneous printed materials, 1951-1954 and undated
Box 16
Miscellaneous manuscript materials, undated
Box 16

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.

Printed materials and clippings about J. Melville Broughton, 1944-1949
Box 9
Miscellaneous printed materials, 1915-1953
Box 10
Miscellaneous clippings, 1915-1953
Box 10
J. Melville Broughton clippings, 1948
Box 15
Clippings about Johnson, 1936-1959
(2 folders)
Box 15
Frank Graham clippings, 1950-1972
Box 15
Jesse Helms clippings, 1983-1989 and undated
Box 15

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.]

Mrs. Charles S. Doak speaking in behalf of Senator Frank Graham, 1950
Box 13
Dr. I. Beverley Lobe speaking in behalf of Senator Frank Graham, 1950
Box 13
Graham for Senate Headquarters: radio spot announcements, 1950
(2 discs)
Box 13
Recording of a speech by Terry Sanford during Frank Graham's campaign, 1950
Box 13
Recording, possibly made during the N.C. Senatorial campaign, 1948
Box 13
Recording, unidentified
Box 13
Recording labeled "News and Observer" and "Kerr Scott", undated
Box 13

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.

Miscellany
Box 7
Frances Johnson materials, 1960s-1980s
Box 16
2 bound notebooks, 1926-1930 and undated
Box 16
Trial transcript photocopies of Jefferson Johnson, Sr., 1920
Box 16
"A Mixed Up Family": McArthur-James family history/memoir, 1852-1868 (written 1955), Sampson Co., NC
Box 16
Miscellaneous certificates and diplomas
Oversize Folder 1

Historical Note

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.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Jefferson Deems Johnson Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Jefferson Deems Johnson Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1963 and in 2011.

Processing Information

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.