Guide to the Notebook of John Johns,Episcopal Bishop of Virginia 1817-1818 MG 69
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Inventory prepared by Laura Ruttum as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. February 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
John Johns (1796-1876) was a student at the newly established Princeton Theological Seminary during the academic years of 1816-1817 and 1817-1818, graduating in 1818. While at the Princeton Seminary, Johns studied under Professors Archibald Alexander, Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theory, and Samuel Miller, Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government.
After graduation, Johns went on to serve at the Protestant Episcopal Church in Frederick City, Maryland, and Christ Church in Baltimore. On October 13, 1842, Reverend Johns became Assistant Bishop to Bishop William Meade, of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Johns was the first Bishop to be consecrated in Virginia, at the Monumental Church in Richmond. In 1862, he assumed the position of Bishop, following the death of William Meade.
Reverend Johns had some correspondence with General Robert E. Lee, and issued the Oath of Office to Jefferson Davis. In 1866, after the Civil War, Johns was instrumental in leading the secessionist Diocese back into the Protestant Episcopal Church, “despite considerable opposition.”
Among Reverend Johns’s other distinctions, he held the office of President of William and Mary College. The Right Reverend John Johns died in 1876.
This collection is composed of a leather-bound notebook with entries dating from 1817 to 1818 consisting of lectures, analysis on lectures, and suggested reading lists provided by professors at Princeton Theological Seminary.
The materials included cover: The Nature and Evidence of Truth, Lecture on the Immortality of the Soul, Lecture on the Being of a God, Analysis of Dr. Livingston’s System of Practical Theology, Lecture on the Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit, Lecture on the Atonement, and Catalogue of Books Recommended by the Professors in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, New Jersey. The latter includes books recommended by Dr. Archibald Alexander, Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theory, and by Dr. Samuel Miller, Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government.
The Lecture on the Being of a God contains the inscription “Copied December 6th, 1817. J. Johns.” The Lecture on the Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit contains the inscription “from Lampe by Dr. Alexander.”
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.
For related materials in print on John Johns, see:
Extract from Bishop Johns’ Address at the Council of 1867 E. Richmond.
Freeman, D. (1934) R.E. Lee: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. In chapter XIX
Johns, John. (1874). Four Documents: Bishop Cummins’ Letter of “Abandonment of the Communion of the Church.”; Bishop Alfred Lee’s “Open Letter,’ in reply; Bishop Cummins’ “Sermon in Defence of the Prayer Book”: Bishop Johns’ “Letter in Reply to the Letter of the Reverend Mr. Latané.” Philadelphia: M’Calla & Stavely
Johns, John. (1840) An Address Delivered Before the American Whig and Cliosophic Societies of the College of New Jersey, September 29, 1840. Princeton: John Bogart.
Johns, John. (1867) A Memoir of the Life of the Right Rev. William Meade, D.D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia. Baltimore: Innes & Company.
Wood, Sumner. (1961). The Virginia Bishop: a Yankee Hero of the Confederacy. Richmond: Garret & Massie.
For related collections on John Johns at other institutions, see:
Manuscript Collection Mss2 C678 b, Coles Family Papers, The Virginia Historical Society
Manuscript Collection Mss3 P9465 a Sect. 1 (H-L), Papers, 1709-1972, Relating to the History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, The Virginia Historical Society
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 69, John Johns Notebook, The New Jersey Historical Society.
This collection was a gift donated by C.L. Travis in 1891.