SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

Thomas Johnson, 1791-1793

Justice Thomas Johnson, 1792-1793
THOMAS JOHNSON was born on November 4, 1732, in Calvert County, Maryland. He was educated at home and studied law in the office of the Clerk of the Provincial Court in Annapolis, and later with an Annapolis attorney. He was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1760. Johnson began his public career in 1762 as a delegate to the Maryland Provincial Assembly. He served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, and in 1776, he helped draft the Maryland constitution. During the Revolutionary War, Johnson served in the Maryland Militia. In 1777, he became the first governor of the State of Maryland and served three consecutive terms. In 1788, Johnson served as a delegate to the Maryland Ratification Convention. On April 20, 1790, he was appointed Chief Judge of the General Court of Maryland, the highest common law court in the State. On August 5, 1791, President George Washington nominated Johnson to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on November 7, 1791. Citing the rigors of circuit riding, Johnson resigned from the Supreme Court. He died on October 26, 1819, at the age of eighty-six.