Joseph Johnson (Virginia politician)

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Joseph Johnson
Joseph Johnson.png
32nd Governor of Virginia
In office
January 16, 1852 – January 1, 1856
Lieutenant Shelton Leake
Preceded by John B. Floyd
Succeeded by Henry A. Wise
Personal details
Born (1785-12-19)December 19, 1785
Orange County, New York
Died February 27, 1877(1877-02-27) (aged 91)
Bridgeport, West Virginia
Political party Jacksonian democrat, Democrat
Occupation Military officer, farmer

Joseph Johnson (December 19, 1785 – February 27, 1877) was a United States Representative and was the 32nd Governor of Virginia from 1852 to 1856.


Born in Orange County, New York, Johnson moved with his mother to Belvidere, New Jersey in 1791 and then to Bridgeport, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1801. He engaged in agricultural pursuits, served in the War of 1812 as captain of a company of Virginia riflemen, and was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1815, 1816, and 1818-1822.

Johnson was elected to the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Congresses (March 4, 1823 – March 3, 1827); while a Representative, he was chairman, Committee on Expenditures on Public Buildings (Nineteenth Congress). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1826 to the Twentieth Congress and was elected to the Twenty-second Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Philip Doddridge, serving from January 21 to March 3, 1833; he was not a candidate for renomination in 1832. He was elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress and reelected as a Democrat to the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1835 – March 3, 1841); he was chairman of the Committee on Accounts in the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Congresses. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1840 and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1844.

He was elected to the Twenty-ninth Congress (March 4, 1845 - March 3, 1847); he was chairman, Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Twenty-ninth Congress), and declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1846. He was again a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1847 and 1848, after which he resumed agricultural pursuits. He was a delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1850 and 1851 and was elected Governor of Virginia in 1851, serving a short term, and was reelected and entered upon the duties of the office January 1, 1852, and served four years. He died in Bridgeport, West Virginia in 1877 and was buried in the old Brick Church Cemetery.

Johnson was an uncle of Senator Waldo P. Johnson of Missouri.

Electoral history[edit]

1851; Johnson was elected Governor of Virginia with 53% of the vote, defeating Whig George W. Summers.


Several locations are named after Johnson in Bridgeport, West Virginia including Johnson Avenue, Johnson Elementary School, and his former home, the Governor Joseph Johnson House.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John B. Floyd
Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
Henry A. Wise
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John J. Allen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 20th congressional district

March 4, 1841 – March 4, 1843
Succeeded by
Samuel Lewis Hays