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David Johnson Passes Away

Today in Masonic History David Johnson passes away in 1855.

David Johnson was an American politician.

Johnson was born Louisa County, Virginia on October 3rd, 1782. His initial education occurred in Virgina before his family moved to Chester County, South Carolina when he was 7.

In South Carolina Johnson studied the law. In 1812 he became solicitor of Union County, South Carolina. That same year he was also elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives.

In 1815, Johnson began the first of several judgeships. First he was a circuit judge. In 1824 he was a judge on the South Carolina Court of Appeals, now the Supreme Court of South Carolina. In 1830 he was the presiding judge on the Court of Appeals and then in 1835 the chancellor. During his time on the bench, Johnson was a noted Unionist. He felt that a violation of the law of the United States was a violation of the law of South Carolina. On that philosophy, Johnson struck down the South Carolina militia oath.

In 1846, Johnson was elected by the General Assembly of South Carolina to be Governor for a two year term. During his term the Mexican-American war took place. Although South Carolina participated in the war, the Wilmost Proviso was a hot topic in South Carolina. The proviso stated that any lands that were taken from Mexico during the war were free lands, slavery would be outlawed in those areas. This would push South Carolina closer to secession. It would also make Johnson the last Unionist to be Governor of South Carolina until after the American Civil War.

Despite Johnson's Unionist stance, his son-in-law was General John A. Wharton who is considered to be the Confederacy's top strategist.

After Johnson's term he lived in the Upstate, the north west corner of South Carolina until the time of his passing on January 7th, 1855.

Johnson was a member of Union Lodge No. 43 in South Carolina.