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Kate Ancrum Burr Johnson Papers, 1919-1968

(Manuscript Collection #91)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Kate Ancrum Burr Johnson Papers
Creator: Johnson, Kate Burr
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1919-1968) items, including correspondence, speeches, reports, clippings, resignation as superintendent of the New Jersey Home for Girls, letters of governors, writings, invitation to be a delegate to the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, etc.
Extent: 0.11 Cubic feet, 37 items , including correspondence, speeches, reports, clippings, and miscellaneous.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

May 14, 1969, 37 items; Papers (1919-1968), including correspondence, speeches, reports, clippings, and miscellaneous. Deposited by Mr. Frederick Burr Johnson, Raleigh, N.C.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Kate Ancrum Burr Johnson Papers (#91), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mr. Frederick Burr Johnson

Processing Information

  • Processed by L. Sterlock, December 1969

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Kate Ancrum Burr Johnson was born in Morganton, N.C., on February 14, 1881, the daughter of Frederick Hill Burr and Lillian Walton Burr. She was educated at Queen's College, Charlotte, N.C., New York School of Social Work, and the University of North Carolina. She married Clarence A. Johnson in 1903 and had two sons. Mrs. Johnson began her public career when she became director of the Bureau of Child Welfare of the North Carolina State Board of Charities and Public Welfare (1919-1921). Next she was commissioner of Public Welfare of North Carolina (1921-1930) before resigning to become superintendent of the New Jersey State Home for Girls (1930-1948). In 1948 she accepted a position on the Prison Advisory Commission in North Carolina under Governor W. Kerr Scott, serving until 1953. In 1954 her contributions to the state and country were acknowledged by the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award for Women by the Chi Omega Sorority and the awarding of an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Mrs. Johnson also participated in the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, the American Association of Social Workers, the N.C. Federation of Women's Clubs, the National Probation Association, and the League of Women Voters. She died in Raleigh in 1968 at the age of 87.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The bulk of the papers consists of the writings and speeches of Mrs. Johnson.

Correspondence relates to Mrs. Johnson's resignation as superintendent of the New Jersey Home for Girls and her appointment to the Prison Advisory Council created by Governor W. Kerr Scott. Other letters include a copy of a letter from Governor Angus W. McLean to Miss Nell Battle Lewis concerning Mrs. Johnson and a letter from Frances Hilliard concerning a paper for a Christmas program.

The earliest writings deal with her administration of the N.C. Federation of Women's Clubs (1917-1919) and the work of the commissioner of Public Works (1919-1920). Several speeches and writings concern the work of the State Home for Girls, including "A Study of the First Classification of Fifty State Home Girls," "Life at the State Home for Girls," and a pamphlet entitled Problems of Delinquency Among Girls. Other works include a speech to the Medical Society at Lenoir, "State Welfare Program as It Relates to Mental Diseases and Crime" ; a speech to a class in government at Princeton University, "Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency" ; and a speech to the Commission of Public Welfare, "North Carolina's Prison System." Additional material consists of a paper on the Lindbergh case, a Christmas program, a paper on Mrs. Johnson's mother, a copy of a resolution by the Johnsonian Book Club on Mrs. Johnson's death, and a brief biographical sketch of Mrs. Johnson.

Clippings in the collection deal with Mrs. Johnson's career as a public servant. They include part of an article entitled "Why Not Federal Survey," Mrs. Johnson's appointment to the State House for Girls in 1930 and her resignation in 1948, Governor Umstead's failure to appoint Mrs. Johnson to the Prison Advisory Committee, and Negro leaders' praise of Mrs. Johnson's work. Other clippings included pertain to the awarding of the Distinguished Service Award for Women and the honorary degree in Humane Letters to Mrs. Johnson. Later articles include two biographical sketches and a clipping on Mrs. Johnson's birthday celebration.

Miscellaneous material includes an invitation to be a delegate to the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection (November 19-22, 1930), a certificate of appointment to the Prison Advisory Council and a photograph of the swearing in of that body, a program for the Chi Omega meeting (April 4, 1954), and programs of the annual meeting of the Johnsonian Book Club (1964-1965, 1965-1966, 1967-1968).

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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