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, Robert, governor of South Carolina, born in 1682; died in Charleston, South Carolina, 3 5lay, 1735. He was the son of General Sir Nathaniel Johnson, governor of South Carolina from 1702 till 1709, who left his son a considerable estate. On 30 April, 1717, he was commissioned governor by Lord Carteret, at a time when the disaffection of the colony toward the lords proprietors was rapidly developing into rebellion. One of his first orders was to equip a ship to act against the pirates that were than infesting the coast, and he commanded in person in a victorious engagement with them off the bar of Charleston. The struggle between the lords proprietors and the commons house of assembly culminated in the convention of 1719, of which Arthur Middleton was president. This convention established a revolutionary government, and requested Robert Johnson to assume the executive in the name of the land, which he declined to do, asserting the rights of the lords proprietors. The convention thereupon elected James Moore, and asserted their power by military force. In 1731 Johnson was appointed royal governor, and came from England to take possession of this office. Governor Johnson aided General Oglethorpe and the first settlers of Georgia by giving them food and escort, and during his term the settlement of Purrysbury, by the Swiss under Colonel Peter Purry, was made. The general assembly erected a monument to his memory in St. Philip's church, Charleston.
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