JOHNSON, Thomas, a Delegate from Maryland; born near the mouth of St. Leonards Creek, Calvert County, Md., November 4, 1732; at an early age moved to Annapolis, Md.; studied law; was admitted to the bar; entered the provincial assembly as a delegate from Anne Arundel County in 1762; member of the committee of correspondence and of the council of safety; assisted in organizing the Potomac Co. for improving the navigation of the Potomac River; a member of the Annapolis Convention of June 1774; Member of the Continental Congress 1774-1776; nominated George Washington as commander in chief of the American forces June 15, 1775; delegate to the first constitutional convention of Maryland in 1776; served in the Revolutionary War as senior brigadier general of Maryland Militia; first Governor of Maryland 1777-1779; moved to Frederick County, Md.; member of the Maryland house of delegates in 1780, 1786, and 1787; member of the Maryland convention for ratification of the Federal Constitution in 1788; chief judge of the general court of Maryland in 1790 and 1791; appointed by President Washington the first United States judge for the district of Maryland in September 1789 but declined; appointed Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court in 1791 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Rutledge and served until February 1793, when he resigned on account of ill health; declined a Cabinet portfolio of Secretary of State tendered by President Washington August 24, 1795; appointed by President John Adams chief judge of the Territory of Columbia February 28, 1801; member of the Board of Commissioners of the Federal City; died at “Rose Hill,” Frederick, Md., October 26, 1819; interment in All Saints’ Episcopal Churchyard; reinterment in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Frederick, Md.
BibliographyDelaplaine, Edward. The Life of Thomas Johnson. New York: F. H. Hitchcock, 1927.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present