William Johnson, Jr. was born on December 27, 1771 in Charleston South Carolina. He was elected to the South Carolina State House of Representatives from the city parishes of St. Philip’s and St. Michael’s for the Eleventh from 1794–1795, and the Twelfth from 1796–1797, and Thirteenth from 1798–1799 General Assemblies. He served as Speaker of the House for the Thirteenth General Assembly. He was elected as an associate justice of the South Carolina Court of General Sessions and Common Pleas on December 18, 1799, serving until his resignation on May 1, 1804. He was appointed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court in March 1804, a position in which he served until his death on August 4, 1834.
Johnson graduated first in his class from the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 1790. He studied law with leading Charleston attorney Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in January 1793.
Painted by Grace Annette DuPré and modeled after a miniature by Charles Fraser.
Located in the Reading Room.