Skip to main content

Miscellaneous Family Correspondence, 1834-1867

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 18

Scope and Content

From the Collection:

The Patterson Family Papers are an eclectic collection of financial and business records, family correspondence, scrapbooks, 19th-Century newspapers, family histories, and photographs which document three generations of Patterson and Johnston Family personal and business matters. The researcher should be aware that both Col. Robert Patterson and Col. John Johnston gave significant portions of their papers to Lyman Draper, who was gathering documents to write a history of the American frontier in the nineteenth century. These documents are available in the Draper Manuscript microfilm, reels 95 and 118-120, in Special Collections.

Series I, family correspondence, consists of letters exchanged between members of the Patterson and Johnston Families. Correspondence in this series is arranged chronologically within each folder and the span dates are 1810-1867. Col. Robert Patterson’s letters cover the years 1810-1829 and consist of correspondence from the Colonel to various family members, friends, and associates. Majorities of the letters are addressed to his son, Francis, and pertain to business matters. Another portion of correspondence consists of letters from Col. John Johnston to his daughter and son-in-law, Jefferson and Julia Johnston Patterson. These letters cover the years 1832-1860 and discuss Johnston’s business as an Indian agent and trader in Piqua, family and health matters, gossip, and advice. Another set of letters are from Rachael Johnston to her daughter, Julia, and span the years 1833-1840. Childbirth, children, health, and miscellaneous family matters are the major topics of discussion in these letters. Of particular interest in this series are the letters to Julia Johnston Patterson from four of her sons who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. A complete transcription of these letters is contained in Box 14, File 41. The Patterson family’s Civil War correspondence from Series I (Box 1, Files 13-17) can be viewed online in Wright State University’s Campus Online Repository (CORE Scholar):

Series II and III contain business and financial records covering the years 1780-1963. The bulk of the records, however, are in the 19th century. These records relate primarily to the operation of the Patterson family farm and lumber mill. A portion of Col. Robert Patterson’s land surveys and Quartermaster records are also included. A major portion of Series III, receipts and financial records, is composed of short notes from customers directing the Pattersons to deliver to the bearer of the note a certain amount of unspecified goods. Some of the correspondence in Series II is personal, but the major portion is business and legal in nature. The papers in these two series are arranged chronologically and the span dates are 1780-1963 for Series II, and 1790-1869 for Series III.

Series IV consists of 17 scrapbooks compiled under the supervision of John H. Patterson. These scrapbooks are an eclectic collection of letters and cards, news-clippings on a wide range of subjects, certificates, memorabilia, business and school records, photographs, and family histories. The materials that were not glued down onto pages were placed in file folders and arranged into groups by scrapbook. Of particular interest are scrapbooks 1 and 2, which contain Patterson Family histories and John H. Patterson personal history, and scrapbook 10, which contains material on Col. John Johnston.

The miscellaneous materials in Series V include a Patterson Family genealogy and family tree, materials regarding the Patterson Family Homestead, and three Saturday Evening Posts, published in 1953, which contain articles on John H. Patterson and the National Cash Register Company.

Series VI, photographs, contains a print of a painting of Col. John Johnston, a Jane Reece photographic print of Frank Stuart Patterson, a number of images from the 1913 Dayton Flood, a lithograph of J.H. Patterson, and a file of photographs of Edith McClure Patterson who was a niece of John H. and involved in local and state Republican politics during the 1930’s and 40’s.

Series VII, newspapers, consists of 25 single editions of various newspapers, mostly from Dayton, Cincinnati, and Piqua published during the Civil War and earlier.


  • Creation: 1834-1867


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.


From the Collection: 9 linear feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA