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Charles F. Johnson family papers

Identifier: S3043

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, sketches, newsclippings and other reference materials. Most of the material concerns Emeline (Johnson) Hilton. Also included is correspondence regarding Hilton's efforts to publish The Long Roll and sketches used in that book. The correspondence does not hold include letters to or from the Duluth artist David Ericson, who was friend of Charles F. Johnson.

General Materials - 1853-1958

General correspondence, 1872-1856

The Long Roll publishing correspondence, 1910-1938

Photographs, portraits and groups, 1853-1890

Charles F. Johnson records

Manuscript on the 1894 Hinckley Fire, copied letters and journal entries, sketches used for The Long Roll, and an 1862 certificate concerning Johnson's service in the Civil War.

Emeline L. Hilton records

Letters from Raymond Swing, a radio commentator, 1941-1952; autobiography, 1944; correspondence and papers relating to the authentication of a Van Dyck painting owned by Emeline Hilton, 1929-1945; autograph letters from authors, radio announcers, and government officials including Dwight Eisenhower, H.L. Mencken, John Pershing, Edward R. Murrow, and Harold Stassen.


  • 1853-1956


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Fredrick Johnson (1843- February 8, 1896) came to Duluth in 1870 with his wife, Mary Susan Sherry (1849-1927). He established the Pioneer Bookstore and Duluth's first free circulation library in 1870. With Henry Evans, doing business as Johnson & Evans, he was a printer, bookbinder, stationer, and publisher of the Journal of Commerce and Duluth Daily Market Report. Johnson served first as a deputy collector and then as the collector at the U.S. Customs House in Duluth from 1891-1893. He was the Secretary of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce from 1893-1895.

Johnson served in the Civil War with the 9th Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry, known as the "Hawkins Zouaves". He wrote a book, The Long Roll, about his war experiences which was published posthumously after 1911. The Johnsons had two children: Fredrick Berger Johnson (1870-1931) and Emeline Louise Johnson (1873-1958). Emeline later married Afton B. Hilton in 1908 and had one son, George Robert Hilton (1909-1955). Emeline Hilton was a customs collector in Duluth, a position she claims she inherited from her father.


1.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, sketches, newsclippings and other reference materials.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.

Related Materials:

NEMHC Books Collection The long roll : being a journal of the civil war, as set down during the years 1861-1863 / authored by Charles F. Johnson 1843-1896, East Aurora, N.Y. : The Roycrofters, 1911, E601 .J68

Additional Charles F. Johnson records are held by the Minnesota Historical Society.


This collection is part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library, and are on permanent loan from the St. Louis County Historical Society.

Guide to the Charles F. Johnson family papers
Finding Aid Authors: B. Bruemmer, P. Maus, M. David.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526