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John W. Johnston

American lawyer and politician

Died when: 70 years 171 days (845 months)
Star Sign: Virgo


John W. Johnston

John Warfield Johnston (September 9, 1818 – February 27, 1889) was an American lawyer and politician from Abingdon, Virginia.He served in the Virginia State Senate, and represented Virginia in the United States Senate when the state was readmitted after the American Civil War.

He was a United States Senator for 13 years.In national politics, he was a Democrat.Johnston had been ineligible to serve in Congress because of the Fourteenth Amendment, which forbade anyone who had sworn allegiance to the United States and subsequently sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War from holding public office.

However, his restrictions were removed at the suggestion of the Freedmen's Bureau when he aided a sick and dying former slave after the War.

He was the first person who had sided with the Confederacy to serve in the United States Senate.Several issues marked Johnston's senatorial career.

He was caught in the middle during the debate over the Arlington Memorial.The initial proposal to relocate the dead was distasteful to Johnston, yet the ensuing debate caused him to want to defend the memory of Robert E.

Lee; the need to stay quiet for the sake of the Democratic Party, however, proved decisive.Johnston was an outspoken opponent of the Texas-Pacific Bill, a sectional struggle for control of railroads in the South, which figured in the Compromise of 1877.

He was also an outspoken Funder during Virginia's heated debate as to how much of its pre-War debt the state ought to have been obliged to pay back.

The controversy culminated in the formation of the Readjuster Party and the appointment of William Mahone as its leader; this marked the end of Johnston's career in the Senate.

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