Guide to the Rebecca Ann Johnson Papers, 1849

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.

Summary

Rebecca Ann Johnson of Rochester, N.Y. (1830–) disguised herself as a man and shipped out on the Nantucket, Mass., whaler Christopher Mitchell in 1848, using the name “George Johnson.” About eight months after the ship sailed from Nantucket, her charade was discovered. For the next two weeks, she dressed as a woman, slept in a separate cabin, and was given over to the American consul in Payta, Peru, who wrote that she would be returned to the U.S. The collection includes a letter mentioning Rebecca Ann Johnson from Alexander Bathurst and copies of dispatches from U.S. consuls in Peru. The original dispatches are located ad the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
MS320
Title:
Rebecca Ann Johnson Papers
Date(s):
1849
Creator:
Bathurst, Alexander.
Repository:
Nantucket Historical Association
Language:
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the Rebecca Ann Johnson Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Gift of the Friends of the NHA in July 1992 (Acc. 1994.29).

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Johnson, Rebecca Ann.
  • Topical Term
    • Male impersonators.
    • Women at sea.

Biographical Information

Rebecca Ann Johnson of Rochester, N.Y. (1830–) disguised herself as a man and shipped out on the Nantucket, Mass., whaler Christopher Mitchell in 1848, using the name “George Johnson.” About eight months after the ship sailed from Nantucket, her charade was discovered. For the next two weeks, she dressed as a woman, slept in a separate cabin, and was given over to the American consul in Paita, Peru, who wrote that she would be returned to the U.S.

Scope and Content

The collection includes a letter mentioning Rebecca Ann Johnson from Alexander Bathurst and copies of dispatches from U.S. consuls in Peru. These dispatches are from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

Contents

Box 1 Folder 1       Letter from Alexander Bathurst, 16 July 1849

Box 1 Folder 2       Dispatches from U.S. Consuls in Paita, Peru, 1849

Processing Information

Processed by Kelli Yakabu, July 2021. Finding aid by Kelli Yakabu, July 2021.

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