The scrapbook contains a series of newspaper clippings pasted in and over pages of a day-book kept by Myron Downes. Most of the clippings deal with the career of “Pussyfoot” Johnson. Following the pasted clippings are the original pages of the day-book with entries concerning personal financial records.
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Permission to publish material from the William E. ("Pussyfoot") Johnson Scrapbook must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
William Eugene Johnson, better known as “Pussyfoot” or “Whiskey” Johnson, was born in 1862 in Coventry, New York. A lifelong foe of alcohol, he became active in the temperance movement in Nebraska in the 1880s. In 1906 he was appointed Special Agent in the Department of Interior to enforce laws in the Indian Territory and Oklahoma prohibiting sale of liquor to Native Americans. He served until 1911, smashing saloons and making over 4,000 arrests. He gained the nickname “Pussyfoot” because of his cat-like stealth in pursuing his suspects. After leaving his appointment with the Interior Department he became active in the Anti-Saloon League. He retired to New York in 1930 and died in 1945.
The scrapbook contains a series of newspaper clippings pasted in and over pages of a day-book kept by Myron Downes. Most of the clippings deal with the career of prohibitionist William “Pussyfoot” Johnson.
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
William E. (“Pussyfoot”) Johnson scrapbook, 1905-1916, MS 293, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University https://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/247 Accessed November 28, 2023.