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William Samuel Johnson


William Samuel Johnson was the eldest son of the Rev. Dr. Johnson, first president of the college in New York. He was educated at Yale College, where he took the degree of bachelor of arts in 1744. At the bar he was an eminently graceful speaker and an able advocate, and soon rose to high professional reputation. After passing with honor through almost all the respectable offices of the colony, he was sent to England in 1766, by the legislature of Connecticut, to argue before the royal council a great land cause of the highest importance to the colony. He remained in England until 1771, and during this period the University of Oxford conferred on him the degree of doctor of civil law, and he was elected a member of the Royal Society. Some time after his return, he was appointed one of the judges of the superior court of Connecticut. He also represented the State for some years under the old confederation. He was sent as a delegate from his native State to the convention for forming a new constitution for the United States, and was elected a member of Congress on the first organization of the new constitution. In 1792 he was elected president of Columbia College, and he continued to fill that station with great dignity and usefulness until 1810. Mr. Johnson died at Stratford, Connecticut, in 1819 at the age of ninety-three years.

Source: Marshall, James V. The United States Manual of Biography and History. Philadelphia: James B. Smith & Co., 1856. Pages 168, 169. (Some minor spelling changes may have been made.)


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Last modified January 2, 2004