Rev Lorenzo Dow Johnson

Photo added by James Gorham

Rev Lorenzo Dow Johnson

Reading, Windsor County, Vermont, USA
Death 8 Jan 1867 (aged 61)
Pocasset, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Bourne, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 82057217 · View Source
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The Johnson Memorial
Author: James Bowen Johnson
Washington D. C.: Howard University Print, 1895.

pg 39-41

Rev. Lorenzo Dow Johnson.

Rev. Lorenzo Dow Johnson, son of Rev. Jeremiah and Thomazin (Blanchard) Johnson,
was born in Reading, Vt., Aug. 26th, 1805; married, November 13, 1832, in Rochester, Mass.,
Mary BURGES daughter of Abraham BURGES and the niece of Tristam BURGES, afterwards
member of Congress from Rhode Island, and professor in Brown University. She was a sister
of Walter BURGES, a Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. She was born March 9, 1810.

CHILDREN [[surname Johnson]]

Arnold Burges, born in Rochester, Mass., June 17, 1834.
Jeremiah Augustus, born in Boston, Mass., June 3, 1836.
James Gibson, born in Providence, R. I., June 25, 1839.
Lorenzo M., born in New York City, Jan. 22, 1843.
Joseph Tabor, born in Lowell, Mass., June 30, 1845.
John Burges, born in Rochester, Mass., Nov. 29, 1847.

Mr. Johnson enjoyed such advantages as could be had in those days in the public
schools of Vermont. He became a member of his father's church when but 14; at 18 he was
licensed to exhort, at 19 he was licensed to preach, and at 21 he was ordained. For the next 8
years he was in active service as a minister of the gospel, laboring with great acceptance.
In 1834 the denomination with which Mr. Johnson was connected, having suffered unfavorable
changes, he gave up the charge of the Methodist Church at Pocasset, Mass., and practically left
the ministry, it having become necessary to do so to sustain his growing family. From this time
on he was engaged in educational and literary pursuits, but while teaching, lecturing or writing,
constantly strove for the good of man and the glory of God. He was a man of enormous industry,
indomitable will, and tremendous power of concentration. Every cause that had for its end the
strengthening of the weak, the elevation of the downcast, or that tended to the amelioration of
any form of suffering, found in him an earnest friend.

In 1848-49 he traveled much in Europe, spending some time in Italy. He also visited
the Azores, Madeira, the Canaries, and the Cape de Verde Islands, where he interested himself
in the persecuted protestants. Many by his encouragement came from Maderia and Funchal to
this country, where he aided them in finding opportunity to earn their living.

He was in the clerical employ of the Government from say 1851 until the second
battle of Bull Run, when he gave up a lucrative position and, there then being an urgent demand
made for assistance for the wounded, he went to the front, and from that time to the close of
the war, devoted himself to the care of the sick and wounded in and about Washington. It was
during this time that he made an earnest effort for the reform of Army Chaplaincy. He brought
the matter to the personal attention of leading members of Congress and to that of President
Lincoln himself; and the result was that the position which had been brought into disrepute
and was likely to be abolished, was revolutionized and continued, and it is likely to remain as
a great educational force in the army.

The following are among the titles of the books bearing his name as author:

MEMOIRS OF MRS. THOMAZIN JOHNSON of Mass. J. Loring, publisher, 1835.
MEMORIA TECHNICA, the Art of Abbreviating Difficult Studies. Boston: 1847.

His name appears between 1834 and 1851 as editor or associate editor of several educational,
or temperance periodicals, and he was for a year in the 40's State Temperance lecturer in

After the war was over, his family being grown, he returned to the active ministry in
the Methodist Episcopal Church and was assigned to the charge of the last church over which
he had presided, that at Pocasset, Mass. Here he spent the remainder of his days. His remains
were laid in the little cemetery adjoining the church, among those of four generations of those
who had been his parishioners.

He practically died in harness. During the first week of 1867 he had been somewhat
ailing, but he left his room to preach his last sermon. On the following Sabbath nothing but
the severity of a raging snow storm, which prevented the opening of the church, deterred him
from a like act. On the third day after, January 8, 1867, he entered into his reward. His heart
had, as he well knew, long been affected; and he anticipated, and was ready for a sudden end.
It came in the rupture of an anurism of the arch of the aorta.

He was a man of wonderful and of constantly increasing devotion. He left to his
bereaved family, his mourning church and an almost limitless circle of friends, a spotless
record and the result of a consecrated life."

Family Members

Gravesite Details For more information on Cataumet Cemetery, please refer to the following website:



  • Created by: James Gorham
  • Added: 16 Dec 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 82057217
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Lorenzo Dow Johnson (26 Aug 1805–8 Jan 1867), Find a Grave Memorial no. 82057217, citing Cataumet Cemetery, Bourne, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by James Gorham (contributor 47240306) .