US Senator, Congressman from Louisiana. Appointed to the US Senate upon the resignation of James Brown, he was subsequently elected to two terms and served from 1824 until his death. Johnston was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, and raised in Kentucky from childhood. Graduating from Transylvania University in Lexington in 1802, he was admitted to the bar and moved to the Territory of Orleans (later Louisiana) to set up law practice in Alexandria. From 1805 to 1812 he was a member of the Territorial Legislature. During the War of 1812 he raised a regiment to aid General Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans; ironically, in politics he became a staunch Anti-Jacksonian. Following a stint as a State District Judge (1812 to 1821), Johnston was elected as a Louisiana At-Large Representative to the Seventeenth Congress and served from 1821 to 1823. The setback of losing reelection to the US House in 1822 freed him to accept the Senate appointment less than two years later. In his first elected Senate term he was Chairman of the Committee on Commerce. On May 19, 1833, Johnston was killed in an explosion aboard the steamship Lioness on the Red River in Louisiana. There is a cenotaph in his memory at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC. He was the half-brother of future Civil War Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards