JOHNSON HAGOOD was born in Barnwell County, South Carolina. After graduating from The Citadel in Charleston, he studied law under a judge and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1850. The following year he was appointed Deputy Adjutant-General of the South Carolina Militia as well as being elected Commissioner in Equity for Barnwell County. During the Civil War he was named Colonel of the First South Carolina Regiment, earning a promotion to Brigadier-General. In addition to practicing law and engaging in planting, he was first president of the South Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical Society and chaired the Board of Visitors at The Citadel for fourteen years. An unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, he served as vice president of the Democratic State Convention of 1876 and as South Carolina's Comptroller-General from 1876 to 1880. During his single term as governor, he focused on stimulating the state's economy and sought to end formal dueling among state politicians through the enactment of legislation disqualifying any person from holding public office if they had acted as a principal or second in a duel. Hagood chose not to run for a second term, instead returning to his plantation near Barnwell. He did, however, serve twice as chairman of the State Board of Agriculture.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 12. New York: James T. White & Company.