Woman of the Century/Maria I. Johnston
JOHNSTON, Mrs. Maria I.. author and editor, born in Fredericksburg, Va., 3rd May, 1835. Her father, Judge Richard Baruett, of that citv, moved to Vicksburg, Miss., while she was still young. There she became the wife of C. L. Buck, who died in the first year of the war, leaving her with three children. She was in Vicksburg during its forty days' siege and made that experience the subject of her first novel. Although that book had a wide local sale, she dates her literary success from the subsequent publication of an article entitled "Gallantry, North and South," which appeared in the "Planters' Journal" and was copied in several other papers. MARIA I. JOHNSTON. At that time her literary work embraced contributions to the New Orleans "Picayune," "Times-Democrat," and later, articles to the Boston "Woman's Journal," After the war she became the wife of Dr. W. R. Johnston and lived on a Mississippi plantation. By the use of her pen, when she was widowed the second time, Mrs. Johnston was able to support herself. Her children were well educated and have taken positions of eminent social rank in life. Both daughters have married well and her son, after graduating in Yale, became a member of the Montana bar and was made Judge of the circuit court, Helena. Mrs. Johnston has written many stories both, long and short In editing the St. Louis "Spectator," a literary weekly paper for family reading, Mrs. Johnston covers a broad field in literature, both general and personal. In her stories she deals for the most part with life in the West and South. The conditions caused by war and slavery are considered. In 1883 Mrs. Johnston wrote a strong reply to Dr. Hammond's criticisms of woman politicians in the "North American Review." Her reply was printed in the New Orleans "Picayune" and was copied throughout the United States. Her essay on "Froude's Character of Mary Stuart" was published as a serial in the "Inland Journal of Education," and will be published in book form. Her novel, "Jane," was issued in 1892. Mrs. Johnston resided in Madison parish, La., from 1881 to 18S7. During that time she was connected with the Cotton Planters' Association and wrote constantly in the interest of the New Orleans Centennial and Cotton Exposition, In 1886 appeared "The Freed woman" from her pen. It was an earnest appeal to the matrons of the South, in behalf of their whilom slaves and foster sisters. Mrs. Johnston is an earnest advocate of full legal and political rights for her sex and has written extensively on that subject. She now resides in St. Louis, Mo., where she is president of the St. Louis Writers' Club, and chairman of the press committee of the St. Louis branch of the World's Fair Commission.