Monday, October 22, 2007

Richard Mentor Johnson (October 17, 1780November 19, 1850) was the ninth Vice President of the United States, serving in the administration of Martin Van Buren. A resident of Scott County, Kentucky, Johnson served as a Representative and Senator from Kentucky, and in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Richard Mentor Johnson Early life
During the War of 1812, Johnson was commissioned a Colonel of Kentucky Volunteers. He commanded a regiment in engagements with the British in Upper Canada in 1813. He was credited by some with personally killing the Shawnee leader Tecumseh during the Battle of the Thames. Despite the doubtful accuracy of this claim ("Ripsey Rampsey, Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson Shot Tecumseh"), Johnson would later use it to good effect in his political career.

Military career

Elected office
Johnson was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1804-1806 and again in 1819.
Johnson was again elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1850, but he died in Frankfort, Kentucky soon after taking his seat.

Kentucky House of Representatives
Johnson was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Tenth and to the five succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1807–March 4, 1819). He was chairman of the Committee on Claims and the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of War.
After serving in the U.S. Senate, he returned to the House, elected to the 21st Congress and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1829-March 4, 1837) He was chairman of the Committee on Post Office and Post Roads and the Committee on Military Affairs.

Johnson died in 1850 at the age of 70. He is interred in the Frankfort Cemetery, in Frankfort, Kentucky.
There are counties named for Johnson in Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, and Nebraska. The Illinois county was named for Johnson in 1812, even before his wartime exploits.

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