University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Robert Underwood Johnson Papers, 1906-1963

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Johnson, Robert Underwood, 1853-1937
Title: Johnson, Robert Underwood, Papers
Dates: 1906-1963
Abstract: Consisting of correspondence, the Robert Underwood Johnson Papers, 1906-1963, document his connections with notable literary and political figures.
Accession No.: 2011-370
Extent: 1/2 in.
Language: Materials are written in English and French.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in Washington, D.C. on January 12, 1853, poet, editor, and diplomat, Robert Underwood Johnson spent his childhood in Indiana where his father served as a judge. He graduated from Earlham College in 1871, and then joined the staff of The Century Magazine, becoming associate editor in 1881, a position he occupied until 1913. A prolific poet, Johnson several volumes including The Winter Hour, and Other Poems (1891) and Poems, first published in 1902 with several subsequent editions. He also served as the permanent secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Additionally, Johnson dedicated himself to the conservation of America’s natural resources. With John Muir, he began the movement that created Yosemite National Park as well as applying pressure to President Roosevelt, which resulted in White House conferences on conservation.

Italy was another of Johnson’s interests. Besides admiration of Italian art and culture, Johnson served as president of the New York Committee of the Italian War Relief Fund of America and the “American Poets Ambulances in Italy” which provided the Italian army with 112 ambulances. From April 1920 to July 1921, Johnson was the U. S. Ambassador to Italy while also representing the United States as observer at the San Remo Conference and the Supreme Council of the League.

After returning to the United States, Johnson focused on publishing poetry and his memoirs, Remembered Yesterdays, until he passed away in 1937.


Robert Underwood Johnson Collection." University of Delaware Library, Special Collections Department. Accessed December 5, 2011.

Scope and Contents

Consisting of correspondence, the Robert Underwood Johnson Papers, 1906-1963, document his connections with notable literary and political figures. Notable individuals include Helen Keller; Rudyard Kipling; Orville Wright; Andrew Carnegie; World War I generals Joseph Joffre, Ferdinand Foch, and John J. Pershing; Henry Cabot Lodge; Herbert Hoover; and Edith Bolling Wilson. Letters concern both personal and professional issues, such as accepting an award from the Italian government, fundraising for various organizations, and congratulatory notes.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Johnson, Robert Underwood, 1853-1937 -- Archives.
Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919
Foch, Ferdinand, 1851-1929
Keller, Helen, 1880-1968
Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948
Joffre, Joseph Jacques Céssaire, 1852-1931
Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
Wilson, Edith Bolling Galt, 1872-1961

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Robert Underwood Johnson Papers, 1906-1963, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Ryder Kouba, December 2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers



3D126 Correspondence
Butler, Nicholas Murray, October 21, 1926
Butler, Nicholas Murray, October 23, 1924
Borah, William, October 22, 1913
Carnegie, Andrew, April 23, 1913
Foch, Ferdinand, illegible date
Davis, John W., November 6, 1924
Glasgow, Ellen, January 11, 1932
Hughes, Charles Evan, August 11, 1921
Hoover, Herbert, December 27, 1920
Hoover, Herbert, June 19, 1928
Joffre, Joseph, September 15, 1924
Kellogg, Frank B., June 16, 1928
Kellogg, Frank B., March 10, 1925
Empty envelope from Secretary of Commerce office, June 20, 1928
Garland, Hamlin, February 28, 1925
Pershing, John J., November 17, 1924
Masefield, John, undated
Channing, Edward, January 5, 1925
Root, Elihu, Jr., November 1, 1924
Glasgow, Ellen, postcard from Richmond, undated
Hughes, Charles Evans, May 22, 1925
Lodge, Henry Cabot, May 31, 1921
Hoover, Herbert, June 17, 1963
American Foundation for the Blind pamphlet, undated
Keller, Helen, March 22, 1968
Wilson, Edith Bolling, December 18, 1924
Wright, Orville, June 5, 1931
Howells, William Dean, May 5, 1906
Smith, Alfred E., May 2, 1927
Root, Elihu Jr., February 21, 1925