Samuel Johnston

Gov. Samuel Johnston

North Carolina

December 20, 1787 - December 17, 1789

December 15, 1733

August 17, 1816



Birth State

National Office(s) Served:


SAMUEL JOHNSTON was born in Dundee, Scotland on December 15, 1733. Three years later his family immigrated to America, where Samuel was educated in the schools of New England. He later studied law in North Carolina, and then established a legal practice in Edenton. Johnston first entered politics as a member of the North Carolina Assembly, a position he held from 1760 to 1775. He also served as clerk of the Superior Court; was a member of the Committee of Correspondence in 1773; and served as a delegate to the first four Provincial Congresses, as well as presiding over the third and fourth congressional sessions. Johnston was a member of the North Carolina Senate in 1779, 1783, and 1784; and chaired the 1788 and 1789 state conventions that were convened to ratify the federal constitution. Johnston next won election to the governor’s office in 1787. He won reelection in 1788 and 1789, but resigned from office in 1789, upon his election to the U.S. Senate. He served in his senatorial seat until 1793. From 1800 to 1803 he served on the North Carolina Superior Court bench. He raised future governor James Iredell after the death of Iredell’s parents. Governor Samuel Johnston passed away on August 17, 1806, and was buried on his Hayes estate, near Edenton, North Carolina.