Richard Mentor Johnson

Richard Mentor Johnson

Ninth Vice President of the United States
Born Oct 17, 1780

Richard Mentor Johnson was the ninth Vice President of the United States, serving in the administration of Martin Van Buren (1837–1841). He is the only vice president ever elected by the United States Senate under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment. Johnson also represented Kentucky in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate; he began and ended his political career in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Johnson was elected to the U.S.… Read More

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1780 Birth Richard Mentor Johnson was born on October 17, 1780, the fifth of Robert and Jemima (Suggett) Johnson's eleven children. … Read More
By 1782, the Johnsons had moved to Bryan's Station (future Lexington) in Fayette County.
1784 3 Years Old By 1784, the Johnson family was at Great Crossing in Scott County. … Read More


1799 18 Years Old The son Richard Johnson did not begin his formal education until age fifteen, since there were no schools on the frontier. He entered Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. By 1799, he was studying law (reading the law) as a legal apprentice with George Nicholas and James Brown. … Read More


1802 - 1804 2 More Events
Johnson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1806. … Read More
1807 26 Years Old From 1807 to 1813, he represented Kentucky's Fourth District. … Read More
1808 27 Years Old After the election of 1808, Johnson was one of the War Hawks, a group of legislators who clamored for war with the British.


Congress declared war in June 1812, and after its adjournment, Johnson returned to Kentucky to recruit volunteers. … Read More
1813 32 Years Old Johnson was permitted to try the tactics in the summer of 1813; later the US conducted Indian wars in winter with his strategy. … Read More
1814 33 Years Old …  Although there was no organized resistance to his presence in Canada, Harrison withdrew to Detroit because of supply problems. (The Canadians would not feed his men.) Johnson eventually recovered, except for a crippled hand, but he was still suffering from his wounds when he returned to the House in February 1814.
1816 35 Years Old Johnson believed that Congressional business was too slow and tedious, and that the per diem system of compensation encouraged delays on the part of members. To remedy this, he sponsored the Compensation Act of 1816. … Read More
On April 4, 1818 an act of Congress requested that the President of the United States present to Johnson a sword in honor of his "daring and distinguished valor" at the Battle of the Thames. Johnson was only one of 14 military officers to be presented a sword by an act of Congress prior to the American Civil War. In August 1814, British forces attacked Washington, D.C. and burned the White House. … Read More
Johnson's term in the House expired March 3, 1819, but by August, he had returned to the state legislature where he helped secure passage of a law that abolished imprisonment for debtors in Kentucky.


1822 - 1823 3 More Events
1828 47 Years Old 1 More Event
It passed the Senate a second time in 1828, but again, the House failed to act on it, and the measure died for some years, owing to Johnson's exit from the Senate the next year. … Read More
1829 48 Years Old 1 More Event
The relationship is believed to have led to the loss of his Senate seat in 1829, but his Congressional district returned him to the House the next year.
1830 49 Years Old 1 More Event
The report, commonly called "Col. Johnson's second Sunday mail report", was delivered to Congress in March 1830. … Read More


Johnson chaired a House committee to report on the subject, and delivered the committee's report on January 17, 1832. … Read More
She died in an epidemic of cholera in the summer of 1833, to Johnson's great grief. … Read More
1836 55 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1836, Johnson was the Democratic nominee for vice-president on a ticket with Martin Van Buren. … Read More
When the electoral vote was counted in Congress on February 8, 1837, Van Buren was found to have received 170 votes for president, but Johnson had received only 147 for vice-president. … Read More


1841 - 1842 2 More Events
1844 63 Years Old He briefly and futilely sought his party's nomination for president in 1844.
1848 67 Years Old He also ran as an independent candidate for Governor of Kentucky in 1848, but after talking with the Democratic candidate, Lazarus W. Powell, who had replaced Linn Boyd on the ticket, Johnson decided to drop out and back Powell. … Read More
1850 69 Years Old 1 More Event
Johnson finally returned to elected office in 1850, when he was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives. … Read More
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