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Johnson Family Fonds (P175)

1754-1886. - 8 cm of textual records.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

Born in Ireland, William Johnson (1715-1774) came to America in 1738. In 1752 he inherited Admiral Sir Peter Warren's estates in the Mohawk valley of New York and in 1755 was named as the superintendent of Indian affairs for New York. He was knighted for his military exploits during the Seven Years War. His son, Sir John Johnson (1742-1830) a prominent loyalist, organized and led the King's Royal Regiment during the American War of Independence. After the war he came to Canada where he became a large landowner and seigneur of Argenteuil. In 1783 he was given the post of Superintendent General of Indian affairs in British North America. In 1787 he was named to the Legislative Council of Quebec and in 1796 to the Legislative Council for Lower Canada. In 1773, John Johnson married Mary Watts; they had eleven children including John, Maria and James. John, who became a military officer, lived in Chambly, Québec. Maria married Major-General Barnard Bowes who had her brother, Brigade Major James Johnson under his command during the Peninsular War. Both men were killed in the course of the campaign.

(Source : Guide to Archival Resources at McGill University : Private Papers At McGill University. McGill University Archives. 1985. Vol.3, p.196)

Scope and Content:

The Johnson family fonds consists of correspondence received by Maria Johnson Foord Bowes from her husband Major General Barnard Foord Bowes and her brother Brigade Major James Johnson describing battles in the Peninsular War (1811-1812).

Also included are several items of interest from other members of their family: a letter from Col. John Bradstreet to William Johnson concerning Indian affairs and his proclamation making public the Royal Proclamation; some incoming political correspondence to Sir John Johnson; a letter to his son John asking for electoral support; the deed of sale of a farm owned by Sir John; a lease for land on the Rideau Canal to John; and an inventory of his estate.

(Source : Guide to Archival Resources at McGill University : Private Papers At McGill University. McGill University Archives. 1985. Vol.3, p.196)