David Johnson (governor)

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David Johnson
62nd Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 1, 1846 – December 1, 1848
LieutenantWilliam Cain
Preceded byWilliam Aiken, Jr.
Succeeded byWhitemarsh Benjamin Seabrook
Chancellor of the South Carolina Court of Appeals
In office
December 1835 – December 5, 1846
Presiding Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals
In office
1830 – December 1835
Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals
In office
December 18, 1824 – 1830
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from Union District
In office
November 26, 1810 – December 4, 1811
Personal details
Born(1782-10-03)October 3, 1782
Louisa County, Virginia
DiedJanuary 7, 1855(1855-01-07) (aged 72)
Cherokee County, South Carolina
Resting placeForest Lawn Cemetery, Union, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseBarbara Courtney Asbury Herndon

David Johnson (October 3, 1782 – January 7, 1855) was the 62nd Governor of South Carolina from 1846 to 1848.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Louisa County, Virginia,[1] Johnson was educated in York County, but moved with his family to Chester District in 1789. He studied law in South Carolina and became a solicitor of the Union District in 1812 as well as being elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Excelling in law, Johnson was made a circuit judge in 1815, a judge of the Court of Appeals in 1824, a presiding judge of the Court of Appeals in 1830 and a chancellor in 1835. During his time on the bench, Johnson was a noted Unionist because of his decision to strike down a militia oath to South Carolina and his view that a violation of a law of the United States was a violation of the law of South Carolina. His son-in-law was Confederate General John A. Wharton.

As governor[edit]

The General Assembly elected Johnson as Governor of South Carolina in 1846 for a two-year term. The Mexican–American War occurred during his administration and the state aptly supported the cause. Much discussed was the Wilmot Proviso which would have outlawed slavery in the territory acquired from Mexico as a result of the war and it helped to further push the state towards the brink of secession. A Unionist would not become Governor of South Carolina again until the end of the Civil War when Benjamin Franklin Perry was appointed by President Andrew Johnson.

Later life[edit]

After his term as governor, Johnson returned to Upstate South Carolina where he died on January 7, 1855.[1] He was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Union.


  1. ^ a b The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Vol. XII. James T. White & Company. 1904. p. 170. Retrieved August 14, 2020 – via Google Books.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by