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Isaac Johnson

Gov. Isaac Johnson

  • February 12, 1846 - January 28, 1850
  • Democratic
  • November 1, 1803
  • March 15, 1853
  • Louisiana
  • Married twice--Charlotte McDermott, Miss Johnson; four children


ISAAC JOHNSON was born St. Francisville in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana on November 1, 1803. His early education was attained through private tutoring. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and established his legal career in West Feliciana Parish in 1828. Johnson entered politics in 1833, serving as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, a position he held until 1835. In 1839, he secured an appointment to the bench of the Third Judicial Court. Johnson won the 1845 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by popular vote on January 19, 1846. He was sworn into office on February 12, 1846, becoming the first governor elected under the new Louisiana State Constitution. During his tenure, the University of Louisiana was established, a board of health was authorized, the state capitol was moved to Baton Rouge, volunteers were organized for service in the Mexican War, and a redistricting law was sanctioned for the election of the General Assembly. After completing his term, Johnson left office on January 28, 1850. He was appointed Louisiana attorney general in 1850, an office he served in for four years. Governor Isaac Johnson died on March 15, 1853, and was buried on his “Troy” plantation in West Feliciana Parish.


Dawson III, Joseph G. The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1990.

Encyclopedia Louisiana

Famous Johnsons

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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