Clifton Johnson Collection


Clifton Johnson Collection


Clifton Johnson (1865-1940) of Hadley, Massachusetts was an accomplished literary figure with some 125 published books and countless magazine and newspaper articles to his credit. A friend of William Dean Howells and John Burroughs, he was an acquaintance of many other late 19th and early 20th century authors and editors. Johnson was a self-styled folklorist, an illustrator, photographer, author, and editor.

Collection Items

The haircut
The barber is cutting a man's hair while a young boy peers up inquisitively at the process. Caption on back "The Hair-cut" and "The little boy watched the woodshed barber so closely that the craftsman said, "I guess you're goin' to learn the tradeā€¦

Black man and woman with  horse in a Tennessee yard
A black man grazes a horse in his yard and talks to a woman. In the background, children are sitting on the steps of the house.

Booker T. Washington feeding chickens
Booker T. Washington stands next to a chicken coop. At his feet is a group of chickens. He holds a pail of feed in one hand and sprinkles it for the chickens with the other.

June 26, 1902 letter from George Washington Carver
One page, typed, signed letter from George Washington Carver to Clifton Johnson, on Tuskegee Institute stationery. Carver thanks Johnson for his last letter and discusses Johnson's books.

First building used by Tuskegee Institute
A dilapidated wood cabin, identified as the building Booker T. Washington started his school. A wooden fence and some trees are on the right. Caption on back: "The cabin in which Booker Washington started his school."

Black woman and child read together in Louisiana
An older black woman seated in a chair, and a child, possibly her daughter or granddaughter, read together in Louisiana.

Two black women hanging laundry on a fence in Tuskegee, Alabama
Two apron-wearing women hang laundry to dry on a fence outside their house in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Old black couple in their yard in Vicksburg, Mississippi
An older black couple with smiling faces, in their yard in Vicksburg, Mississippi, look at each other. The woman is stirring a kettle and the man is sitting in a chair.

Booker T. Washington with rabbits
Booker T. Washington sits on a bench with his son David standing next to him. At their feet are two rabbits.

Booker T. Washington with horses
Booker T. Washington stands in a pasture, holding a mare's bridle and reaching out to make friends with her colt.

Booker T. Washington on log bridge
Booker T. Washington standing on a log above a brook holding a walking stick on his right hand and his hat in his left hand. Bushes and trees are visible behind him.

Black man splitting wood in Virginia
A black man splitting boards for a roof in Virginia.

Brothers on the bank of the Ohio River
On the bank of the Ohio River in West Virginia, a black boy pulls his little brother in a tiny toy wagon.

Black boy reads to his father in South Carolina
A black boy is sitting on a porch, reading to his father, who, according to the back of the photograph, does not know how.

Booker T. Washington examines a tree branch
Booker T. Washington standing in the woods pulling at a branch and looking at the flowers of a tree.
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