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This Day in Georgia History

November 20, 1891

James Johnson Died

Lawyer and former Georgia governor James Johnson died in Chattahoochee County. Born in Robinson County, N.C. on Feb. 12, 1811, he moved to Georgia as a youth and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1832. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1835. With a successful law practice in Columbus, he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1851. Defeated in his bid for reelection, Johnson became an opponent of secession and did not participate in the Civil War. After the war, Pres. Andrew Johnson named Johnson provisional governor of Georgia on June 17, 1865. After a new constitution was drafted and elections held, Johnson gave up the governor’s office to Charles Jenkins on Dec. 19, 1865. Subsequently, Johnson served three years as a U.S. customs collector in Savannah. In 1869, he became a superior court judge in the Chattahoochee circuit. After six years as a judge, Johnson returned to the practice of law in Columbus.

James Johnson Died View large image
Source: Photo: Ed Jackson