Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Janney mss., 1847-1900, are the papers of John Jay Janney, 1812- , member of the Society of Friends, educator, Ohio politician, and railroad official.

Career: born April 25, 1812, Goose Creek Meeting House, Loudoun County, Virginia, son of Thomas J. and Mary (Taylor) Janney; father died May 1812; attended Friends School, Goose Creek Meeting House, 1818-1827; attended day school at Alexandria, 1832; removed to Warren County, Ohio, 1833; engaged in teaching a country and village school, in land surveying, with a short experiment in a village store, 1833- 1847; married Rebecca A. Smith, 1838; during the winter months served as a clerk in the Ohio House of Representatives, 1844-1847; chief clerk in the office of the Ohio secretary of state and the commissioner of common schools, 1847-1851; secretary of Board of Control of the State Bank of Ohio, 1851-1865; assistant postmaster of Columbus, Ohio, 1865-1866; secretary and treasurer of Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad Company, 1866-1881.

The papers consist chiefly of correspondence with prominent public figures. Included are also an autobiographical sketch of Janney; an essay on baptism read in and approved by the Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends in September 1897, of which five thousand copies were printed for distribution; an Epistle in answer to those received by the Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends; A Recollection of Interviews with Abraham Lincoln; an autographed photograph of Janney; and a brief statement by Robert Augustus Toombs on the consequences of the election of John Charles Fremont.

The correspondence is concerned with the collecting of funds for the National Washington Monument Society; the appointment of a postmaster for Columbus, Ohio, in 1861; Ohio politics during the Civil War; medical and sacramental use of alcohol; the liquor traffic; and the Indiana appropriation bill.

Among the correspondents are J. Andrews, W. T. Bascom, William Baxter, Samuel Fenton Cary, George P. Coler, George Bruce Cortelyou, Marcus Alonzo Hanna, Samuel McPherson Janney, Thomas Francis Meagher, Edward Sylvester Morse, Joseph Hodson Outhwaite, Noah Haynes Swayne, Booker Taliaferro Washington, and Elisha Whittlesey.

Collection size: 56 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.