Robert Johnson, Col. Gov. of South Carolina

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Robert Johnson

Birthplace: Charles Town, , South Carolina, USA
Death: Died in Charles Town, , South Carolina, USA
Place of Burial: Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Nathaniel Johnson and Anne Broughton-Johnson
Husband of Margaret Johnson
Father of Margaret Izard
Brother of Peter Johnson and Margaret Lynch
Half brother of Thomas Broughton; Lydia Broughton; Christina Broughton; Andrew Broughton; Constantia Ashby and 2 others

Occupation: South Carolina governor
Managed by: Todd Martin Figura
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Robert Johnson, Col. Gov. of South Carolina

Robert Johnson (1682–1735) was the British colonial Governor of the Province of South Carolina in 1717-1719, and again from 1729-1735. Governor Johnson ordered Colonel William Rhett to engage the notorious pirate Stede Bonnet's sloops in the Battle of Cape Fear River near Charleston in 1718. His maternal grandson was South Carolina Congressman Ralph Izard.


He was the son of Sir Nathaniel Johnson, governor of the Province of South Carolina from 1702-08, and had inherited from his father a considerable estate. On Apr. 30, 1717, he was commissioned governor of South Carolina. Like his father, he soon won the confidence of the people, but coming at a time when the powers of the proprietors were already tottering, he was baffled in his efforts to conciliate the colonists, by the proprietors' own greed and folly, and in hia endeavors to sustain their authority he lost whatever influence he might have exercised. The most important event of this period of his administration was the suppression of the pirates who were preying upon the commerce of South Carolina and neighboring colonies. Fitting out an expedition, he personally commanded a victorious engagement with them off the bar of Charleston, and carried on the campaign until they were exterminated and their famous leader. Stede Bonnet was captured, and on Sept. 10, 1718 was executed. In 1719, when the proprietary government was overthrown, the revolutionary convention, of which Arthur Middleton was president, requested him to continue in office if he would agree to administer it in the name of the king, but Johnson declined to do so, asserting the rights of the proprietors to whom he owed allegiance. James Moore II was thereupon elected governor by the convention, and Johnson was set aside.

Notwithstanding the loyalty thus shown to the proprietors, he was appointed first regular royal governor of the colony in December, 1729, and upon his arrival at Charleston, early in 1731, was joyfully received by the people. His administration was marked by the issuance of several acts regarding the granting of land to new settlers, and by a protracted boundary dispute with North Carolina, the two colonies being for the first time constituted entirely separate provinces. He aided James Oglethorpe in the settlement of Georgia by providing food and escort to his colonists, and during his term the settlement of Purrysburg was made by the Swiss under Jean-Pierre de Pury. Gov. Johnson endeared himself to the people by his high-minded character, which won for him the title of the "good governor." He remained in office till his death, which took place in Charleston on May 3, 1735. In the same year the general assembly erected a monument to his memory in St. Philip's Church, where it remained until the edifice was burned in 1835.

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Robert Johnson, Col. Gov. of South Carolina's Timeline

Charles Town, , South Carolina, USA
Age 46
May 3, 1735
Age 59
Charles Town, , South Carolina, USA
Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, United States