John Telemachus Johnson

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John Telemachus Johnson
A man with receding black hair, a high-collared white shirt, and a black jacket and bowtie
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1823 – March 3, 1825
Preceded by Anthony New
Succeeded by James Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1821 – March 3, 1823
Preceded by William Brown
Succeeded by Henry Clay
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
Personal details
Born (1788-10-05)October 5, 1788
Scott County, Kentucky
Died December 17, 1856(1856-12-17) (aged 68)
Lexington, Missouri
Resting place Lexington Cemetery
Political party Democratic-Republican
Relatives Richard Mentor Johnson (brother)
James Johnson (brother)
Robert Ward Johnson (nephew)
Alma mater Transylvania University
Profession Lawyer, Minister
Signature J. T. Johnson
Military service
Battles/wars War of 1812

John Telemachus Johnson (October 5, 1788 – December 17, 1856) was a minister in the Christian Church, an attorney, and a politician, elected as U.S. Representative from Kentucky. His older brothers, also politicians, included James Johnson and Richard M. Johnson, who served as Vice President under Martin Van Buren; he was the uncle of Robert Ward Johnson, also a politician.

Early life and education[edit]

Born at Great Crossings, in present-day Scott County, Kentucky, Johnson pursued preparatory studies after being home schooled. He attended Transylvania University, in Lexington, Kentucky.

Like his older brother Richard, he studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1809 and commenced practice in Georgetown, Kentucky. Johnson served in the War of 1812 as an aide to Gen. William H. Harrison.

Political career[edit]

Johnson was elected as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, serving for five terms.

He was elected in 1820 as a Democratic-Republican to the Seventeenth Congress and reelected as a Jackson Democrat to the Eighteenth Congress (March 4, 1821 – March 3, 1825). While in Congress, Johnson served as chairman of the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads (Eighteenth Congress). He declined to run in 1824.

He was appointed judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals April 20, 1826, and served until December 30, 1826.

Johnson was ordained as a minister of the Christian Church, where he served for a number of years. He became active in publishing Christian journalism. He became editor of the Christian Messenger in 1832, the Gospel Advocate in 1835, and the Christian in 1837.

In 1836, Johnson was instrumental in establishing Bacon College at Georgetown, Kentucky.

He died in Lexington, Missouri, December 17, 1856. He was interred at Lexington Cemetery.

See also[edit]


  • United States Congress. "John Telemachus Johnson (id: J000154)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Allen, William B. (1872). A History of Kentucky: Embracing Gleanings, Reminiscences, Antiquities, Natural Curiosities, Statistics, and Biographical Sketches of Pioneers, Soldiers, Jurists, Lawyers, Statesmen, Divines, Mechanics, Farmers, Merchants, and Other Leading Men, of All Occupations and Pursuits. Bradley & Gilbert. p. 269. Retrieved 2008-11-10.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Brown
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Henry Clay
Preceded by
Anthony New
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
James Johnson

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website