Cave Johnson, US Congress, U.S. Postmaster General

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Cave Johnson

Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Robertson County Tennessee
Death: 1866 (73)
Place of Burial: Greenwood Cemetery Clarksville Montgomery County Tennessee
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Thomas Johnson and Mary Noel
Husband of Elizabeth (Betsy) Johnson
Father of James Hickman Johnson; Thomas Dickson Johnson and Polk Grundy Johnson
Brother of Henry Minor Johnson; Taylor Noel Johnson; Nancy Couts and Joseph Noel Johnson

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About Cave Johnson, US Congress, U.S. Postmaster General

Cave Johnson, a prominent Jacksonian, served as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives (1829-37, 1839-45), postmaster general of the United States (1845-49), and president of the Bank of Tennessee (1854-60). Johnson was born near Springfield in Robertson County, the second son of Thomas Johnson and Mary Noel Johnson. He attended Cumberland College in Nashville. There, at the start of the War of 1812, he and others formed a volunteer unit which elected Johnson as captain. Andrew Jackson declined their offer to join his army, saying that the country's interest would be served better by the boys remaining in college. Johnson's college career, however, concluded the following year in 1813, when he was expelled for refusing to follow the prescribed curriculum. Johnson next studied law with Justice William Cocke for a year before serving under Jackson in his father's militia unit during the Creek War of 1813. He then returned to his legal studies and was admitted to the bar in 1814.

By this time, Johnson was in love with Elizabeth Dortch, but she rejected him in 1815; Johnson vowed never to address another lady. Dortch married another but was later widowed. Johnson then renewed his attentions. This time she accepted, and they were married on February 20, 1838

Johnson's tenure oversaw the creation of the modern postal service. The introduction of the adhesive postage stamp in 1847 placed the service on a sounder financial basis by requiring the sender to finance the cost rather than the recipient. Further reforms included the urban collection of outgoing mail, a practice that became a standard feature of the postal service.

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Cave Johnson, US Congress, U.S. Postmaster General's Timeline

Robertson County Tennessee
Age 47
Age 49
Age 51
Age 73
Greenwood Cemetery Clarksville Montgomery County Tennessee