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Eliza Ellen (Davidson) Johnston commonplace book

 Collection — Box: BW 28, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 16513

Content Description

This collection contains a bound volume of manuscript poems written and compiled by Eliza Ellen [Davidson] Johnston. The presentation page is inscribed as folllows " A common place book presented to Eliza Ellen Davidson by her Affectionate Mother on the 4th of June 1826, Greenbrier Virginia." A bound volume of unlined pages divided into two sections, hand-paginated with exception of final 30+ pages. This volume contains many poems written by Davidson, with her name and date at the end of most. Examples include those dedicated to the "orphans" on page 53 and 90, sorrows of young days on page 69, Mother's grave on page 32, Child to his young dead mother page 18. There are also poems from various poets copied from different publications.Tipped in the front of the book is a typed note and handwritten notes. The typed note describes the book and the provenance of the book and the notes to his research onChapman Johnston


  • Creation: 1826 - 1827


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is minimally processed and open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Eliza Ellen Davidson (1811-1837) was born in Mississippi and later a resident of Louisiana. She was the daughter of Eliza Noel Pintard Davidson and Dr. Richard Davidson, an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Army and New Orleans Port physician. Davidson came from a line of notable descendants, including her maternal grandfather, John Pintard, (1749-1845) of New York City, the first sagamore of the Tammany Society, and founder of the New York Historical Society in 1804; and her maternal great-grandfather, Col. Abraham Brasher (1734-1782), a member of the New York Provincial Congress and the Convention of the State of New York held in 1776 to 1777, and writer of many popular ballads of the revolutionary period.

In 1830 she married Judge John Harris Johnston (1795-1838), a member of the Louisiana legislature, Judge of 6th Judicial District Court until 1834, and then Parish Judge until his death. They had three children: John Pintard Johnston (1833-1854); Confederate Colonel Josiah Stoddard Johnston, [2nd] (1833-1913); and Confederate Captain Harris Hancock Johnston, (1836-1877). Her husband's brother was Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston (1803-1862) who died at Shiloh; the highest ranking general to be killed during the Civil War.

Eliza Johnston died on March 23, 1937 in New Orleans.


0.03 Cubic Feet (1 letter sized folder )

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from David M. Lesser by the Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia on October 25, 2019.

Guide to the Eliza Ellen [Davidson] Johnston commonplace book
Rose Oliveira
14 June 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States