Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the William E. ("Pussyfoot") Johnson Scrapbook MS 293



creator Downes, Myron
Title: William E. ("Pussyfoot") Johnson scrapbook
Dates: 1905-1916
Abstract: The scrapbook contains a series of newspaper clippings pasted in and over pages of a day-book kept by Myron Downes. Most of the clippings deal with the career of prohibitionist William “Pussyfoot” Johnson.
Identification: MS 293
Quantity: 0.25 Linear Feet (1 folder)
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

William Eugene Johnson, better known as “Pussyfoot” or “Whiskey” Johnson, was born in 1862 in Coventry, New York. A lifelong foe of alcohol, he became active in the temperance movement in Nebraska in the 1880s. In 1906 he was appointed Special Agent in the Department of Interior to enforce laws in the Indian Territory and Oklahoma prohibiting sale of liquor to Native Americans. He served until 1911, smashing saloons and making over 4,000 arrests. He gained the nickname “Pussyfoot” because of his cat-like stealth in pursuing his suspects. After leaving his appointment with the Interior Department he became active in the Anti-Saloon League. He retired to New York in 1930 and died in 1945.


Scope and Contents

The scrapbook contains a series of newspaper clippings pasted in and over pages of a day-book kept by Myron Downes. Most of the clippings deal with the career of “Pussyfoot” Johnson. Following the pasted clippings are the original pages of the day-book with entries concerning personal financial records.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research. Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish material from the William E. ("Pussyfoot") Johnson Scrapbook must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.


Index Terms

Prohibition
Johnson, William E. (William Eugene)"Pussyfoot"
Downes, Myron

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William E. (“Pussyfoot”) Johnson scrapbook, 1905-1916, MS 293, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University


Detailed Description of the Collection

Scrapbook

Folder
1 Scrapbook, 16” x 61/2 “. 89 leaves. Pasted-in clippings. Bookplate of George B. Basset (bookseller, stationer, New Haven, Conn.) on front paste-down endpaper.