Thomas Johnson

Media Items
Personal Information
Tuesday, November 4, 1732
Tuesday, October 26, 1819
Childhood Location 
Childhood Surroundings 
Associate Justice
Nominated By 
Commissioned on 
Friday, August 5, 1791
Sworn In 
Thursday, January 19, 1792
Left Office 
Wednesday, January 16, 1793
Reason For Leaving 
Length of Service 
0 years, 11 months, 28 days
Thomas Johnson
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: John Hesselius)

Although Thomas Johnson received no formal education growing up in western Maryland, he read for the bar under the tutelage of a local attorney and entered the bar at age 28.

Johnson, a close friend and business associate of George Washington, was elected a member of the Continental Congress. Johnson placed Washington's name in nomination for commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

Johnson served three terms as governor of Maryland. He then served in the Maryland House of Delegates; and he worked energetically toward ratification of the new federal constitution. Thereafter, he served as chief judge of the Maryland General Court. His old friend, Washington, lured him to federal service with an appointment to the Supreme Court.

Johnson found circuit-riding an ordeal; he resigned after only 14 months on the Court. During his brief tenure, Johnson wrote only a single short opinion out of a total of four cases that were before the Court that term.

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Thomas Johnson. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
Thomas Johnson, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"Thomas Johnson," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,