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Encyclopedia > Sir William Johnson, 1st Baronet
Sir William Johnson
Sir William Johnson

Sir William Johnson, 1st Baronet (1715 – 11 July 1774), founder of Johnstown, New York, was an Irish pioneer and army officer in colonial New York, and the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1755 to 1774. He served on the Governor's Council in New York, earned the rank of Major General in the British forces during the French and Indian War. Sir William was a man of many accomplishments, and ultimately his estate in the Mohawk River Valley covered over 400,000 acres (1,600 km²). Download high resolution version (2646x4176, 4792 KB)Sir William Johnson from a plate in The Old New York Frontier by Francis Whiting Halsey, Charles Scribners Sons, 1901. ... Download high resolution version (2646x4176, 4792 KB)Sir William Johnson from a plate in The Old New York Frontier by Francis Whiting Halsey, Charles Scribners Sons, 1901. ... July 11 is the 192nd day (193rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 173 days remaining. ... Chesma Column in Tsarskoe Selo, commemorating the end of the Russo-Turkish War. ... Johnstown is a city located in Fulton County, New York. ... Official language(s) English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 54,520 sq mi (141,205 km²)  - Width 285 miles (455 km)  - Length 330 miles (530 km)  - % water 13. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Combatants France and its Indian allies Britain and its Indian allies Strength 3,900 regulars 7,900 militia 2,200 natives (1759) 50,000 regulars and militia (1759) The French and Indian War was the nine-year North American chapter of the Seven Years War. ... For other uses, see Mohawk River (disambiguation) The Mohawk River is a major waterway in north-central New York. ...

Contents

Irish Origins

William Johnson was born to Christopher Johnson - son of William MacShane and great, great grandson of Sir Turlough mac Henry Ó Néill - in County Meath, Ireland in 1715. The family was originally the O Neills of the Fews in Armagh and thus a branch of the Uí Néill, but had been dispossessed by the Irish Confederate Wars and the Williamite war in Ireland. William's father was originally known as William MacShane (Ó Néill) but changed his name to the English version of MacShane: Johnson. County Meath (Contae na Mí in Irish) is the fastest growing county in the Republic of Ireland, often informally called The Royal County. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 54. ... The Uí Néill (Irish for descendants of Niall Uí pronounced Ee: ) were an Irish dynasty who claimed descent from Niall Noigiallach (Niall of the Nine Hostages), a semi-historical High King of Ireland who died about 405. ... The Irish Confederate Wars were fought in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. ... For the context of this war see Jacobitism and Glorious Revolution. ...

Sir William Johnson
Sir William Johnson

Download high resolution version (440x639, 279 KB)Sir William Johnson from A History of the American People, Vol. ... Download high resolution version (440x639, 279 KB)Sir William Johnson from A History of the American People, Vol. ...

His Years in America

William Johnson is thought to have originally planned a mercantile or legal career, but in 1738 he emigrated to America to manage the land granted to his uncle, Admiral Sir Peter Warren. Settling in Upstate New York along the Mohawk River. He learned from and lived with the Mohawk Indians who adopted him, and later made him a civil chief (sachem). He also began to purchase land from the Indians in his own right. Sir Peter Warren (1703 or 1704 – 29 July 1752) was a British naval officer from Ireland who commanded the naval forces in the attack on Louisbourg in 1745. ... Upstate New York is the region of New York State outside of the core of the New York metropolitan area. ... The Mohawk (Kanienkeh or Kanienkehaka meaning People of the Flint) are an indigenous people of North America who live around Lake Ontario and the St. ...


Johnson was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs by the British, and later became a Major General in the British forces during the French and Indian War. As a reward for his services, he was granted additional tracts of land in what is now Hamilton and Fulton counties. In 1762, he founded the city of Johnstown about 25 miles west of Schenectady, New York. The city, originally called John's Town, was named by Johnson for his son, John. Ten years later, Johnstown became the county seat of Tryon County when Johnson convinced William Tryon, the British Governor of New York, to separate the western portion of the state from Albany County making Johnstown and the surrounding area a separate county named for Governor Tryon. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the Department of the Interior charged with the administration and management of 55. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Combatants France and its Indian allies Britain and its Indian allies Strength 3,900 regulars 7,900 militia 2,200 natives (1759) 50,000 regulars and militia (1759) The French and Indian War was the nine-year North American chapter of the Seven Years War. ... Hamilton County is a county located in the state of New York. ... Fulton County is a county located in the state of New York. ... Johnstown is a city located in Fulton County, New York. ... Union Colleges Nott Memorial, one of the most recognized buildings in Schenectady Schenectady (IPA ) is a city in Schenectady County, New York, United States, of which it is the county seat. ... Tryon County, New York was a county in New York, part of the Province of New York, named after Governor William Tryon. ... William Tryon (January 27, 1729 to 1788) was colonial governor of the Province of North Carolina (1765-1771) and the Province of New York (1771-1780, though he did not retain much power in the colony beyond 1777). ...


Johnson soon became one of New York's most prosperous and influential citizens. Having begun as an Indian trader, his business interests came to include various enterprises including a lumber business and a flour mill. Johnson, the largest slaveholder in the county and perhaps in the state of New York, had some sixty slaves working these businesses. (Williams-Myers, p. 24; 29-30). In acknowledgement of Johnson's successful business endeavors, the local Native American inhabitants dubbed him "Warragghivagey," or "he who does much business." (Decker, p. 29)


His Intimates and their children

Many of these relationships were operated simultaneously.


In June 1739, William began a relationship with an immigrant of German Palatine extraction, Catherine Weisenberg (1723 – April, 1759). She originally came to America as an indentured servant, but had run away, apparently with the help of relatives, and became a servant to a family called Phillips. William purchased her contract, and the couple had three children before her death. Their son John Johnson, inherited his father's title and estates. An indentured servant is a labourer under contract (an indenture--explained below) to work (for a specified amount of time) for another person or a company/corporation, often without any monetary pay, but in exchange for accommodation, food, other essentials, training, or passage to a new country. ... Sir John Johnson (5 November 1741 – 4 January 1830) was a loyalist leader during the American Revolution. ...

This portrait, painted by Benjamin West in 1776, has been long thought to be a depiction of Sir William's nephew Guy Johnson and his Mohawk friend Karonghyontye (Captain David Hill). However Fintan O'Toole in his 2005 biography of Sir William Johnson, claimed that the painting actually depicts William himself, as demonstrated in-part by the presence of Niagara Falls - Johnson's greatest military victory - in the background. However, this interpretation is controversial. It has long been held that the falls resemble Cohoes Falls and the indian (in documentation) identifies himself as Captain David Hill and the soldier as Guy. They were both in England at the timeframe of the painting
This portrait, painted by Benjamin West in 1776, has been long thought to be a depiction of Sir William's nephew Guy Johnson and his Mohawk friend Karonghyontye (Captain David Hill). However Fintan O'Toole in his 2005 biography of Sir William Johnson, claimed that the painting actually depicts William himself, as demonstrated in-part by the presence of Niagara Falls - Johnson's greatest military victory - in the background. However, this interpretation is controversial. It has long been held that the falls resemble Cohoes Falls and the indian (in documentation) identifies himself as Captain David Hill and the soldier as Guy. They were both in England at the timeframe of the painting

By the time of Catherine's death, he had already begun a similarly unmarried relationship with Elizabeth Brant, by whom he had three children, Keghneghtago or Brant, born in 1742, Thomas and Christian, born in 1744 and 1745 — both of whom died in infancy. Image File history File links Guy Johnson File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Guy Johnson File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Benjamin West Benjamin West (October 10, 1738 – March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American Revolution. ... This painting by Benjamin West is traditionally identified as a portrait of Colonel Guy Johnson, though a recent biography of Sir William Johnson claims that it actually depicts Sir William, Guys uncle. ... The Mohawk (Kanienkeh or Kanienkehaka meaning People of the Flint) are an indigenous people of North America who live around Lake Ontario and the St. ... Fintan OToole (b. ...


About 1750, he had a son called Tagawirunta or William by a Mohawk woman, possibly Elizabeth Brant's younger sister, Margaret.


By Molly Brant, sister of Joseph Brant, he had eight children and by Caroline Peters, niece of King Hendrick, about three. Molly Brant 1986 Postage Stamp Koñwatsiãtsiaiéñni or Mary (Molly) Brant ( c. ... Joseph Brant, painted in London by leading court painter George Romney in 1776 Thayendanegea or Joseph Brant (sometimes spelled Brandt or Brand) (c. ... This engraving of Hendrick was made around the time he attended the Albany Congress in 1754. ...


Johnson is also known to have been intimate with the sisters Susannah and Elizabeth Wormwood (daughters of Henry Wormwood), an Irish woman called Mary McGrath (by whom he appears to have had a daughter, Mary), and several other Mohawk women.


French and Indian War

Commander-in-chief General Braddock commissioned Johnson a major general and tasked him to lead militia forces against Crown Point. In September, his expedition defeated Baron Dieskau at the Battle of Lake George. In recognition of this victory he was awarded £5,000 and made a baronet in November. In 1758, he was part of General Abercrombie's failed attempt to take Fort Ticonderoga. General Edward Braddock General Edward Braddock (1695? – July 13, 1755) was a Flamboyantly Homosexual British soldier and commander-in-chief for North America during the actions at the start of the French and Indian War. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Crown Point is a town located in Essex County, New York. ... Jean Erdman, Baron Dieskau (1701-1767) was a French General and commander in America for a part of the French and Indian War. ... Geoff/Gsl 21:56, 26 October 2005 (UTC) Category: Possible copyright violations ... A baronet (traditional abbreviation Bart, modern abbreviation Bt), is the holder of an hereditary title awarded by the British Crown, known as a baronetcy. ... James Abercrombie or Abercromby (1706 – April 23, 1781) was a British General and commander of forces in America during the French and Indian War who met with disaster in the Battle of Carillon (1758). ... The Battle of Carillon was fought at Fort Carillon (later known as Fort Ticonderoga), on the shore of Lake Champlain in what was then the British colony of New York, July 7-July 8, 1758 during the French and Indian War, and resulted in a victory of the French garrison... Fort Ticonderoga Fort Ticonderoga is a large 18th century fort built at a strategically important narrows in Lake Champlain where a short traverse gives access to the north end of Lake George in the state of New York, USA. The fort controlled both commonly used trade routes between the English...


Johnson led an Indian and militia force as part of General John Prideaux's siege of Fort Niagara in the summer of 1759. When Prideaux was killed, he took command of the force and captured the fort. He also accompanied General Amherst at the capture of Montreal in 1760. After the war, King George rewarded him with the grant of an additional tract of 100,000 acres (400 km²) north of the Mohawk River. The Battle of Fort Niagara was one of the final battles in the North American theatre of the Seven Years War. ... Historical recreation actors at Old Fort Niagara Fort Niagara is a three hundred-year-old fortification originally built to protect the interests of New France in northern North America. ... Jeffrey Amherst by Joshua Reynolds Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst (sometimes spelled Geoffrey, he himself spelled his name as Jeffery) (January 29, 1717 - August 3, 1797) served as an officer in the British army Born in Sevenoaks, England, he became a soldier aged about 14. ... Motto: Concordia Salus Coordinates: Country Canada Province Quebec Founded 1642 Established 1832 City Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area    - City 366. ... For other uses, see Mohawk River (disambiguation) The Mohawk River is a major waterway in north-central New York. ...


Death and Legacy

William Johnson died from a stroke at his home in Johnstown on July 11, 1774. His role as Superintendent of Indian Affairs was taken over by his nephew (and son-in-law) Guy Johnson. His manor house in Johnstown, New York is now a New York State Historic site and is open to the public. July 11 is the 192nd day (193rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 173 days remaining. ... This painting by Benjamin West is traditionally identified as a portrait of Colonel Guy Johnson, though a recent biography of Sir William Johnson claims that it actually depicts Sir William, Guys uncle. ... A historic site is a location where pieces of history have been preserved. ...


Family Tree

 Aodh (Hugh) O Neill, fl. 1505, younger son of King of Tir Eoghan; 1st O Neill of the Fews. | Henry mac Aodh O Neill | Sir Turlough mac Henry O Neill, fl. 1593-1602. | Sir Henry mac Turlough O Neill of the Fews, alive 1641. | Shane/John O Neill of the Fews | Tomas mac Shane O Neill, fl. 1648 | William MacShane (O Neill) | Christopher Johnson (MacShane) of Smithstown, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, 1684-1763. =Anne Warren |__________________________________________ | | | | | | John Warren Anne Catherine |  / |  / | ? | | | Guy Johnson, c.1740-88. | = | Sir William +Catherine +Elizabeth +Margaret +Mary +Molly Brant +Caroline{16) | | | | | | Ann (1) Keghneghtago(4) Tagawirunta Mary Peter (7) William(15) John (2) Thomas (5) (6) Elizabeth(8) daughter Mary (3) Christian Magdelene(9) daughter Margaret (10) George (11) Mary (12) Susanna(13) Anne (14) Note 1: aka Nancy [Married to Indian Agent/Colonel Christian Daniel Claus] Note 2: See Johnson Baronets of New York Note 3: Married to Guy Johnson Note 7: Died 1777 near Philadelphia while serving with 26th Regiment of Foot[[1]] Note 8: Married Dr Robert Kerr. Their son William Johnson Kerr married to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was daugther of Chief Joseph Brandt and granddaugther of New York trader George Croghan. Note 11: Tekahiowake, aka George Jacob Johnson, 1758-1843; father of Smoke Johnson Note 15: William of Canajoharie-died 1807? {see reference below} Note 16: Neice of King Hendrick

This painting by Benjamin West is traditionally identified as a portrait of Colonel Guy Johnson, though a recent biography of Sir William Johnson claims that it actually depicts Sir William, Guys uncle. ... Molly Brant 1986 Postage Stamp Koñwatsiãtsiaiéñni or Mary (Molly) Brant ( c. ... This painting by Benjamin West is traditionally identified as a portrait of Colonel Guy Johnson, though a recent biography of Sir William Johnson claims that it actually depicts Sir William, Guys uncle. ... The 26th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army. ... Joseph Brant (sometimes spelled Brandt) was a Mohawk leader during the American Revolutionary War. ... There are articles for more than one person named George Croghan. ... Smoke Johnson, full name Sakayengwaraton, or Chief John Smoke Johnson, 1783-after 1879. ... This engraving of Hendrick was made around the time he attended the Albany Congress in 1754. ...

Johnson Baronets of New York

 Christopher Johnson =Anne Warren (a sister of Sir. Peter Warren) | Sir William Johnson (c.1715-1774), 1st Baronet =Catherine Weisenberg | Sir John Johnson (1741-January 1830), 2nd Baronet =Mary Watts-descendant of Stephanus Van Cortlandt | Sir Adam Gordon Johnson (1781-1843), 3rd baronet = | Sir William George Johnson (1830-1908), 4th baronet = | Sir Edward Gordon Johnson (1867-1957), 5th baronet = | Sir John Paley Johnson (1907-1976), 6th Baronet =Carol Haas (m.1929) =Jasmine Bligh (m.1940) =Rosemary Cohen (m.1949) | Sir Peter Colpoys Paley Johnson (1930-May 2003), 7th Baronet =Clare Bruce (m.1956) = Caroline Hodsoll (m.1973) | | |_________________________________________________________ | | | | | Sir(Colpoys)Guy Johnson Marina Johnson Alison Johnson | (b.1965), 8th Baronet (b.1960) (b.1961) | =Marie-Louise Holroyd (m. 1990) | | | | Nicholas Johnson | (b.1977) |____________________________________________________ | | | William Johnson Rufus Johnson Benedict Johnson (b. 1993) (b. 1996) (b. 2000) 

There are multiple people named John Johnson: John Johnson ( c. ... Stephanus Van Cortlandt (May 7, 1643 - November 25, 1700) was the first native born mayor of New York (1677-1678; 1686-1688). ...

Triva

Whitehall is a village located in the Town of Whitehall in Washington County, New York, USA. As of the 2000 census, the village had a total population of 2,667. ...

References

  • Fintan O'Toole, White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America, 2005.
  • http://www.clanmcshane.org/history.html
  • http://www.uelgovsimcoe.org/Loyalist-Trails/Loyalist-Trails-2004-19.php
  • http://www.thepeerage.com/p9454.htm
  • http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/a0826468.html
  • Decker, Lewis G. Images of America: Johnstown. Arcadia Publishing (an imprint of Tempus Publishing, Inc.); Charlestown, SC. 1999. ISBN 0-73850-174-3.
  • Williams-Myers, A.J. Long Hammering: Essays on the Forging of an African American Presence in the Hudson River Valley to the Early Twentieth Century. Africa World Press, Inc.; Trenton, NJ. 1994. ISBN 0-86543-303-8.

Fintan OToole (b. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Spartanburg SC | GoUpstate.com | Spartanburg Herald-Journal (1266 words)
Sir William Johnson, 1st Baronet (1715 – 11 July 1774), founder of Johnstown, New York, was an Irish pioneer and army officer in colonial New York, and the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1755 to 1774.
William Johnson is thought to have originally planned a mercantile or legal career, but in 1738 he emigrated to America to manage the land granted to his uncle, Admiral Sir Peter Warren.
Johnson was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs by the British, and later became a Major General in the British forces during the French and Indian War.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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