Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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JOHNSON, Joseph, governor of Virginia, born in Orange county, New York, 19 December, 1785; died in Bridgeport, West Virginia, 27 February, 1877. In 1800 he removed to Bridgeport, West Virginia, where he worked on a farm and educated himself. He served in the war of 1812 as captain of a volunteer company of riflemen, was elected to congress as a Democrat, serving from 1823 till 1827, again in 1833 for the unexpired term of Philip Doddridge, and also in 1835-'41 and 1845-'7. In 1844 he was a delegate to the National Democratic convention. From 1852 till 1856 he was governor of Virginia. He was a supporter of the Confederacy in 1861-'5.--His nephew, Waldo Porter, senator, born in Harrison county, Virginia, 16 September, 1817; died in Osceola, Saint Clair County, Missouri, 14 Aug., 1885, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Osceola in 1843. In 1846 he enlisted as a private in the Mexican war, and while on the plains was honorably discharged to serve in the Missouri legislature to which he had been elected. He became prosecuting attorney and judge of his judicial district, and was elected to the United States senate as a Democrat, serving from 4 July, 1861 till 10 January, 1862, when he was expelled, because he had joined the Confederate army. During the special session of July, 1861, he offered the resolution for a peace convention to meet in Louisville, Kentucky He was wounded at Pea Ridge, and became lieutenant-colonel, taking part in the first Corinth engagement. Afterward, while he was on special service, he was appointed by Governor Reynolds to the Confederate senate to fill a vacancy. After the close of the civil war he went to Hamilton, Canada, where he remained until his return to Osceola. In 1875 he was president of the State constitutional convention.
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