Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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JOHNSTON, Amos Randall, jurist, born in Maury county, Tennessee, 28 September, 1810; died in Cincinnati, Ohio, 25 June, 1879. He began life in the town of Henry, Tennessee, as a printer, afterward established a newspaper with General Felix R. Zollicoffer, and at an early age became known as a political writer. Removing to Mississippi in 1830, he settled in Clinton, represented Hinds county in the legislature as a Whig in 1836, and was county-clerk from 1837 till his election as probate judge in 1845. In 1851 he was Union delegate to the State constitutional convention, to determine the course of Mississippi regarding the compromise measures of 1850. He opposed secession, and canvassed the state in favor of the preservation of the Union in 1859-'60, and declined the nomination of his party to congress and to the governorship. He took no active part in the civil war, but was engaged in the practice of his profession. In 1865 he was member of the" convention that repealed the ordinance of secession, and in 1875 served in the state senate as a conservative Democrat.
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