Henry S. Johnson


Henry Johnson portrait
  • Born: Virginia, 1783
  • Education: Private Study
  • Career: Clerk for Second Superior Court of Orleans Territory, Judge, U.S. Senator, Governor, U.S. Representative,
  • Died: Pointe Coupee Parish, 1864

Henry S. Johnson was the 5th Governor of Louisiana and a member of the Etoile Polaire Lodge No. 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Before coming to Louisiana, Johnson studied law and was admitted to the bar in Tennessee, and resided for a time in Mississippi. In 1809, he accepted a position as Clerk of the Second Superior Court for the Territory of Orleans. In 1811, Johnson became a District Court Judge and the following year he served on the Constitutional Convention of 1812. Johnson next served as a Louisiana state senator, filling a vacancy left by the death of WCC Claiborne, and was reelected in 1823.

In 1824, Johnson resigned from his Senate seat to run for governor. Upon election, Johnson became the first professional governor of Louisiana. Notable developments during his governorship were the creation of the Bank of Louisiana, the Planters' Banking Association, and the state's Civil Code.

Johnson did not run for reelection in 1828, deciding instead to run for a United States Senate seat. Although his first run was unsuccessful, he did serve in the United States Congress between 1834 and 1839. In 1834 and 1839, Johnson also ran for governor again under the Whig party, but he lost both races. Johnson returned to Washington, D.C., as a United States Senator in 1844, filling a vacancy left by Alexander Porter, and served until 1849, after which he again lost the race for U.S. Senator.

Johnson retired from politics after unsuccessfully running for United States Representative and returned to his plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish where he continued to practice law. Johnson died in September 1864 and was buried on the grounds of his plantation.

Click on thumbnails below to view a full-size image:

Etoile Polaire Lodge No. 1 Tableau, 1825

Cornerstone Laying Ceremony, Grand Lodge Past Proceedings, 1828