JJJJ-i002

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John Jay Johns journal i002

Background for the John Jay Johns journal

"Great Grandfather Johns' Diary" has been kicking around my family for as long as I can remember. I know it as a large stack of loose photocopies of typewritten sheets, more than one inch thick, usually kept in a manila folder. There are several copies of it, as it was photocopied and sent to many people. The copy I am looking at now is marked "Chambless", and has obviously been through several iterations of the copy process. Where did it come from? A note inserted after page 7 of the typewritten copy reads as follows: It will be noted that dates on this page skip a period of over two years, from 19 January 1874 to 8 April 1876. It is felt that someone connected with the family may have these books because everything else is in consecutive order. These pages were typed from a copy that Anne Durfee Gauss made of the portion of Diary of John Jay Johns, leaving out some items that she seemed to think were not important to the context and she performed a very fine service. I especially appreciate her efforts now that I have seen examples of the original; John Jay Johns' handwriting was awful.

The notes made by Ann Durfee Gauss before her death in 1932 were later typed by Florence Johns of San Antonio, Texas. These cover the dates from September 23, 1860 to June 17, 1881 with the exception of the volume mentioned above. After June 17, 1881, the entries were transcribed in their entirety by Florence Johns during the 1960's after she typed the notes mentioned above. Florence was another granddaughter of John Jay Johns. A story of the typing of the journals can be found in the correspondence between Florence and Minna Gauss Reeves, another granddaughter.

Recently (Jan. 9, 1999), I found the missing pages mentioned above. One volume of the Journal has been in the Missouri Historical Society Archives all this time. It was donated to them by F. Winston Johns, son of George Sibley Johns, known as Winston in some of the Florence Johns letters. Florence Johns suspected that he had the journal from these dates, but declined to send them to her or Minna Gauss Reeves. Additional volumes were part of "The Virginia Stash", loaned to me by Winston's son, Skip Johns.

As for me, I am typing this as faithfully as I can to the copy that I have. Notes in parentheses() are part of the typewritten record. I suspect that they come variously from John Jay Johns and Anne Durfee Gauss, although Florence Johns may have made some of them. I have made a few notes in square brackets[] marked with my initials and the date.

Susan D. Chambless, January, 31, 1999.





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