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Joe Johnston Thanks Edward Bok
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Joseph Johnston, the former Confederate general, thanks young Edward Bok for “the high compliment expressed” and responds to Bok’s idea for “The American Pantheon.”

JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON. Autograph Letter Signed, August 31, 1885, Bedford Springs, Penn.. Paper is watermarked “Royal Irish Linen/Marcus Ward & Co.” 2 pp., 3⅞ x 8 in.

Inventory #22359.06       Price: $1,200


Bedford Springs Pa

August 31st 1885

Editor Brooklyn Magazine

Dear Sir.

            Your very flattering letter of the 24th instant was received in due time, and inspired in the great interest in the question of an American Pantheon. So much that since receiving it I have been industriously writing on the Subject. But have been [not] able to provide nothing that you would be willing to publish or I to see in print. Therefore I have reluctantly abandoned the attempt.

            Regretting much this inability < p. 2 >to comply with your request, and thanking you very sincerely for the high compliment expressed in your letter, I am,

            Most Respectfully yours very truly

                        J. E. Johnston

Historical Background

The purpose of the correspondence between Confederate Generals and Edward Bok was to acquire autographs, and valuable Civil War information for “The American Pantheon,” a project Bok was clearly excited about, but that never seemed to materialize.

Joseph Eggleston Johnston (1807-1891), born in Farmville, Virginia, was one of several southern officers to resign from the Union army and join the Confederacy. He is notable for relieving Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson of command at Harper’s Ferry and organizing the Army of Shenandoah. His rank beneath younger officers caused animosity between Johnston and Jefferson Davis, who refused to promote him to higher status. Johnston’s frequent retreats, including at Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi led to his dismissal in 1863. He regained command in the last months of the war before surrendering near Dunham Station, NC on April 26th 1865. Post-war, Johnston was elected to Congress.

Edward William Bok (1863–1930) was a Dutch born American editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He was born in Den Helder, The Netherlands. At the age of six, he immigrated to Brooklyn, New York, USA, and became an office boy with the Western Union Telegraph Company in 1876. In 1882, he began work with Henry Holt and Company, and then, in 1884, he became involved with Charles Scribner’s Sons, where he eventually became its advertising manager. From 1884 until 1887, Bok was the editor of The Brooklyn Magazine. His 1920 autobiography, The Americanization of Edward Bok, won the Gold Medal of the Academy of Political and Social Science and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. Edward W. Bok died on January 9, 1930.



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