Annie Fellows Johnston Papers,1917-1955 (bulk 1917-1920).

Descriptive Summary

Title
Annie Fellows Johnston Papers,1917-1955 (bulk 1917-1920).
Creator
Johnston, Annie Fellows, 1863-1931
Extent
.4 lin. ft.
Subjects
Mountain Mail-Bag, by Annie Fellows Johnston (book)
Little Colonel, by Annie Fellows Johnston (book)
Authors
Children's literature -- Appalachia
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:M. Plarr
Repository
Berea College

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Johnston, a native of Evansville, Indiana taught school there prior to her career as a writer. The setting of her most famous work, THE LITTLE COLONEL (1895), was modeled on Peewee Valley in Oldham County, Kentucky, where Johnston had visited her husband's relatives. She later purchased a home in Peewee Valley and resided there from 1923 to her death.
Scope and Content
Materials consist of an unpublished manuscript and related correspondence of Johnston, author of the "Little Colonel" series of stories for children.
Materials include a draft of an unfinished novel, A MOUNTAIN MAIL-BAG, which was based on Johnston's experiences during several visits to Berea, Kentucky around 1919. The manuscript was nearly finished by 1920 but Johnston fell ill before it could be completed and it was never published. The manuscript (ca. 150 pages) has handwritten and typewritten sections accompanied by notes which detail her development of the novel's characters and storyline. Also included are two Johnston letters to Berea College librarian, Florence H. Ridgway, which contain an outline of A MOUNTAIN MAIL-BAG and references to persons at Berea on whom certain characters were based. The manuscript and correspondence were given to Berea College in 1955 by Mrs. Johnston's stepdaughter, Mary G. Johnston, who also provided transcriptions from Johnston's diary (12 pp., 1919) concerning visits to Berea and to Hindman, Kentucky.
Other materials added to the collection by Berea College library staff include assorted clippings on Johnston, her writing, and the gift of the manuscript to Berea College, along with copies of several letters from Hindman. The latter include a letter of May Stone to Johnston (1920), and several letters of Hindman student Flora Ritchie in whom Johnston apparently was interested as a model for a character in her book.