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  Home > Historical Resources > About Louisiana > Louisiana Governors 1812-1861 > Isaac Johnson

Isaac Johnson 1846-1850

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Born: November 1, 1803
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian
Education: Private tutors; studied law with uncle
Career Prior to Term: Major General in State Militia; State Representative; State Judge; Secretary of State.
How He Became Governor: Elected in 1846
Career after Term: State Attorney General; Candidiate for the Supreme Court (died during campaign).
Died: March 15, 1853 in New Orleans of a heart attack

Isaac Johnson's term as Governor began in controversy when Whig Party opponents claimed he had taken an improper oath and was not legally governor.

His administration continued in conflict when he appointed Whigs instead of fellow Democrats to some offices.

Johnson took a strong stand on the issue of the expansion of slavery into new U. S. territories. He denounced illegal the Wilmot Proviso which would have prohibited the sale of slaves in the territories obtained from Mexico after the Mexican War.

In 1849, Johnson moved his office to Baton Rouge--the new seat of state government had been selected by the legislature in 1846.

Johnson became Attorney General after he left the Governors office. He died of a heart attack in a New Orleans hotel in 1853 while running for a seat on the State Supreme Court.

He is buried in West Feliciana Parish.