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Janin Family Papers: Finding Aid
mssJanin family  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Janin Family Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1735-1932
    Collection Number: mssJanin family
    Creator: Janin (Family)
    Extent: 23,699 pieces in 71 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the papers relating to the lives and activities of various members of the Blair, Croghan, Janin, and Jesup families, chiefly extending from New Orleans lawyer and businessman Albert Covington Janin and his wife, Washington, D.C., socialite Violet (Blair) Janin, with the bulk of the collection dating between 1850-1930. Subject matter in the collection includes: politics and government and society and customs in Washington, D.C., and Louisiana; Blair House (Washington, D.C.); land titles in Indiana Territory, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Missouri; the Ocean Canal and Transportation Company; and the history of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, from 1839 until 1932.
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Janin Family Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Acquired from the Washington Cathedral through the agency of Colonel Thomas M. Spaulding in 1936 and 1937. Additional letters and other papers were acquired in 1946, from Louis Janin of San Francisco; in 1965 from Howard H. Peckham; and in 1968 from Elliot A. P. Evans.

    Processing/Project Information

    The papers of James L. Blair (165 pieces) that were formerly catalogued separately and the Louis Janin papers that were formerly catalogued as the Louis Janin Correspondence (876 pieces) were combined with the Janin Family Collection.

    Biographical note

    The families of lawyer and businessman Albert Covington Janin (1843-1928) and socialite Violet (Blair) Janin (1848-1933) included members of the prominent Blair, Croghan, Janin, and Jesup families, chiefly located in New Orleans, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; Kentucky; and San Francisco, California.
    Family members included:
    • Attorney Louis Alexander Janin (1803-1874), who was born and educated in Vienna. Janin immigrated to the United States in 1828, established residence in New Orleans, was naturalized, admitted to the bar, opened law offices, invested in sugar plantations. He married Juliet Covington. Six sons reached maturity and were educated mainly in Europe. Three of the sons, Louis, Henry, and Alexis, engaged in mining activities in California, Nevada, Japan and elsewhere; Eugene Janin was killed in the Battle of Manassas in 1862; Edward Janin engaged in business in Minnesota, California, etc. Albert Covington Janin (1843-1928) married Violet Blair, practiced law and entered into politics in New Orleans, operated a canal in Louisiana, practiced law in New York and Washington, and later managed the Mammoth Cave Estate in Kentucky.
    • James Lawrence Blair (1819-1853), son of Francis Preston Blair. James Blair was a United States naval officer. In San Francisco in 1849, he acquired property and established the first steamship line on the Sacramento River. He resigned from the Navy in 1851, died suddenly in San Francisco, leaving widow, Mary Serena Eliza (Jesup) Blair (1825-1914), daughter of Thomas Sidney Jesup, and three children: Violet (1848-1933), Jesup (1852-1902), and Lucy James (1853-1902). His estate was administered by his brother Montgomery Blair.
    • Thomas Sidney Jesup (1788-1860), a Major-General in the United States Army. Jesup married Ann Heron Croghan (1797-1845). They had one son, Charles E. Jesup, and four daughters: Mary Serena Eliza (Jesup) Blair, Jane (Jesup) Nicholson, Lucy (Jesup) Sitgreaves, and Julia Clark Jesup.
    • Violet (Blair) Janin (1848-1933), a Washington, D.C., socialite. Janin lived her entire life in the family home on Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington, D.C., although she travelled in Europe and elsewhere, and lived during brief periods in New Orleans soon after her marriage in 1874. Her life was devoted mainly to her mother, Washington society and club work. She was president of the National Society of Colonial Dames, treasurer of the National Society of Children of the American Revolution, etc., and an active member of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. Her friends were prominent in social and diplomatic circles, while she herself was a leader in the most exclusive circles of her time.
    • Lucy James (Blair) Wheeler (1853-1902), who married engineer and West Point graduate Major George Montague Wheeler (1842-1905). Lucy Wheeler accompanied her husband to his military posts, in Denver and elsewhere in the U.S. and Europe. Their life together was filled with hardships, which ruined the health of both.
    • William Croghan (1752-1822) of Kentucky. Croghan married Lucy Clark (1765-1838), sister of George Rogers Clark. Their three surviving sons were John, George and William. Their daughter Ann Heron Croghan married Thomas Sidney Jesup. John Croghan (1790-1849), who never married, purchased lands in Kentucky in 1839 from Franklin Gorin, containing the Mammoth Cave, which upon his death was willed to the children of his sister and brothers, and their descendents. Although, in the second and third generations, the number of heirs increased, most of the Cave property was owned by Violet (Blair) Janin. The Cave became a National Park in 1932.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains the papers of members of the Blair, Croghan, Janin, and Jesup families, chiefly extending from New Orleans lawyer and businessman Albert Covington Janin and his wife, Washington, D.C., socialite Violet (Blair) Janin, with the bulk of the collection dating between 1850-1930. Materials include letters, manuscripts (including 50 diaries), documents (including 55 account books, 12 cash books, and 5 miscellaneous volumes), and photographs. The earlier pieces are mainly land papers from Louisiana and Kentucky.
    The extended Blair-Janin-Jesup-Croghan family came to include numerous relatives in all parts of the United States, and the papers reflect that many of them were in frequent contact with each other. But the primary individuals represented in the collection are:
    • James Lawrence Blair (165 pieces)
    • Mary Jesup Blair (Boxes 3-5 and 60-61) Violet Blair Janin: 9 boxes of personal papers, in addition to the massive correspondence addressed to her by many famous and important persons of her time, give an effective background to Washington society from the point of view of a wealthy upper class woman from c. 1860-c. 1930
    • John Croghan
    • William Croghan
    • Albert Covington Janin (Boxes 15-19, 63, exclusive of correspondence received by him from other persons)
    • Louis Janin
    • Julia Clark Jesup: 460 items, mainly letters to her sister Mary and her niece Violet.
    • Thomas Sidney Jesup: 48 items
    • George M. Wheeler: 340 pieces of correspondence and miscellaneous papers
    • Lucy James Blair Wheeler: 434 letters from Lucy to her mother in the collection, and 36 pieces of other correspondence and papers.
    Organizations represented in the collection (with which Violet Blair Janin was affiliated) include: Daughters of the American Revolution, National Association Opposed to Woman's Suffrage, National Cathedral Association, National Society of Children of the American Revolution, and the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
    Subject matter reflected in the collection include politics and government in Washington, D.C., and Louisiana, and society and customs in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans; Blair House (Washington, D.C.); land titles and real estate in Indiana Territory, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, and San Francisco, California; the Ocean Canal and Transportation Company (Louisiana to St. Louis); the history of Mammoth Cave (Kentucky) from the time of purchase by John Corghan in 1839 until 1932, when it became a national park (at which time Violet [Blair] Janin was the primary owner); Denver, Colorado; and mining in Australia.

    Related Materials in the Huntington Library

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged alphabetically by author in Boxes 1-59, followed by miscellaneous papers, photographs, ephemera, and record books in Boxes 60-71.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Blair, James L. (James Lawrence), 1819-1853.
    Blair, Mary Jesup, 1826-1914.
    Blair, Violet, 1848-1933.
    Croghan, John, 1790-1849.
    Croghan, William, 1752-1823.
    Janin, Albert.
    Janin, Louis.
    Jesup, Julia Clark, 1840-
    Jesup, Thomas Sidney, 1788-1860.
    Wheeler, George M. (George Montague), 1842-1905.
    Wheeler, Lucy James Blair, 1853-1902.
    Blair House (Washington, D.C.)
    Daughters of the American Revolution.
    National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.
    National Cathedral Association.
    National Society of the Children of the American Revolution.
    National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
    Ocean Canal and Transportation Company.
    United States. Army -- Officers -- Archives.
    United States. Navy -- Officers -- Archives.
    Canals -- Louisiana.
    Land titles -- Indiana.
    Land titles -- Kentucky.
    Land titles -- Louisiana.
    Land titles -- Missouri.
    Mines and mineral resources -- Australia.
    National parks and reserves -- Kentucky.
    Real property -- California -- San Francisco.
    Real property -- Washington (D.C.)
    Women -- Washington (D.C.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Women -- Washington (D.C.) -- Social conditions.
    Denver (Colo.) -- Description and travel.
    Denver (Colo.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
    Louisiana -- Politics and government.
    Mammoth Cave (Ky.) -- History -- Sources.
    New Orleans (La.) -- Politics and government.
    New Orleans (La.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
    Washington (D.C.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.

    Forms/Genres

    Account books -- United States.
    Diaries -- United States.
    Family papers -- United States.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States.
    Manuscripts -- United States.
    Photographs -- United States.

    Alternate Authors

    Blair, James L. (James Lawrence), 1819-1853.
    Blair, Mary Jesup, 1826-1914.
    Blair, Violet, 1848-1933.
    Croghan, John, 1790-1849.
    Croghan, William, 1752-1823.
    Janin, Albert.
    Janin, Louis.
    Jesup, Julia Clark, 1840-
    Jesup, Thomas Sidney, 1788-1860.
    Wheeler, George M. (George Montague), 1842-1905.
    Wheeler, Lucy James Blair, 1853-1902.
    Blair (Family)
    Croghan (Family)
    Jesup (Family)