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This Day in Georgia History

February 12, 1811

James Johnson Born

Reconstruction provisional Gov. James Johnson was born in Robinson County, N.C. Johnson attended the University of Georgia with Alexander Stephens, graduating in 1832. After studying law, Johnson was admitted to the bar in 1835 and practice law in Columbus. In 1851, he was elected to Congress, where he served on term. Johnson was opposed to the secession movement, and he did not participate in the Civil War. After the war, Pres. Andrew Johnson named him provisional governor of Georgia. That fall he lost the election, and subsequently served as U.S. customs collector in Savannah (1866-1869) and superior court judge (1869-1875). In 1875, Johnson returned to the practice of law in Columbus. He died in Chattahoochee County on Nov. 20, 1891.