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Winn-Johnson letters

Identifier: MS 3249


This collection contains letters and telegrams, primarily from Adrienne Winn Johnson of Baltimore,Maryland, to Clarence Johnson, 1937-1945.


  • 1937 November 26-1945 May 21


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Adrienne Theresa Winn was likely born around 1921. According to census records, she was 19 years old in 1940, and her birthplace is listed as North Dakota. She married Clarence Arthur Johnson prior to 1939, and they lived at 933 Madison Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland. Adrienne and Clarence separated after 1940 and divorced around 1944. During World War II, Adrenne worked at the Glen L. Martin Company, producing materials for the defense of the United States and allies. She died in Baltimore sometime between 1944-1945.

Clarence Arthur Johnson was born on November 4, 1918, in Chicago, Illinois. In 1940, his occupation is listed as a tavern manager. He likely worked in the same tavern owned by his brother-in-law, Wendell Wilson. During his separation from his wife, Clarence moved to Evanston, Illinois, where he remained until after their divorce was finalized.


0.21 Linear Feet (5 folders)

Language of Materials



The first three folders in the collection contain letters from Adrienne Winn Johnson to Clarence Arthur Johnson and are arranged chronologically beginning in 1937. Folder 4 contains two telegrams from Adrienne to Clarence, and folder 5 contains one letter to Clarence from his sister, Mrs. Dorothy O. Wilson.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lauren M. Wenchel, March 2008.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 23 letters from Adrienne Winn Johnson to Clarence Arthur Johnson between 1937-1944. Also included is a poem composed by Adrienne for Clarence, two telegrams, and a letter to Clarence from his sister, Mrs. Dorothy Wilson, dated 1945. Aside from the letter from Mrs. Wilson, all items in the collection are written by Adrienne herself. Two of the letters in the collection are typed, with the remaining being handwritten. The condition of the letters is fair, but at times the ink has been smudged, making the text difficult to read.

Adrienne likely penned the first few letters to Clarence while he was visiting Chicago. The letters contain endearments and descriptions of daily life. After their separation, she continues to express her affection for him, and urges him to write more. Beginning in 1943, her letters are less affectionate as she tries to secure a divorce before he joins the Army. In her final letter to Clarence of June 18, 1944, she asks that he send money to finalize their divorce.

Mrs. Dorothy Wilson's letter to Clarence of May 21, 1945, expresses her surprise to learn of the divorce, and the further shock among neighbors of Adrienne's death.

Guide to the Winn-Johnson letters
Mallory Harwerth
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States