Henry S. Johnson 1824-1828
Born: September 14, 1783 in Virginia
Political Affiliation: National Republican
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian
Education: Limited--studied law and admitted to the bar
Career Prior to Term: State Judge and U.S. Senator
How He Became Governor: Elected in 1824
Career after Term: U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator; planter
Died: September 4, 1864 in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana
Henry S. Johnson was the first professional politician to be elected governor of Louisiana. From 1818 until 1824, he held various state offices. Johnson stepped into a U. S. Senate seat after Claiborne died in office.
At this time, the legislature moved the seat of government to Donaldsonville in a compromise between the Anglo-American leaders who wanted the capital out of New Orleans and the Creoles who wanted to retain the seat of government within a French area.
Johnson benefited from a bitter division among the Creoles to get elected, then luckily enjoyed the fruits of a visit to Louisiana by Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette. That visit allayed the bitter Creole-Anglo split, but Johnson was to inflame the conflict once again by taking the side of the "Anglos" in a dispute about cotton and sugar cultivation.
The creation of two financial institutions promoted prosperity during Johnson's term: the Louisiana State Bank and the Consolidated Association of Planters of Louisiana. He improved commerce within Louisiana by forming the Internal Improvement Board to maintain and build roads and canals.
Johnson died in 1864, some years after serving another term in the U. S. Senate.