Original Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
JOHNSON, Thomas (1732-1819). American Revolutionary Leader, appointed by George Washington as one of the first six justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Member of the first Continental Congress (1774-1777). Johnson nominated George Washington for Commander in Chief of the Continental Army (1775). Johnson was the first elected Governor of Maryland (1777-1779) under its 1776 Constitution. Johnson supported the revolution by manufacturing ammunition and cannon. On Jan. 5, 1776 he was elected Senior Brigadier General of the Maryland Militia. When George Washington was in retreat in Jersey (1776-1777) he sent an urgent appeal to Johnson to re-enforce him stating he did not have enough men to fight. Johnson organized 1800 militia in the western counties and led them in person to the relief of Washington. Johnson attended the Maryland Convention in 1788 where he successfully urged the state’s ratification of the United States Constitution. On Nov. 7, 1791, Johnson was confirmed by the United States Senate to take his place on the U.S. Supreme Court. Johnson was the author of the court’s first written opinion Georgia v Brailsford. His term as justice was the shortest of any justice as of today’s date. Johnson served for only 163 days. In January 1791, President Washington appointed Johnson to the commission to lay out the federal capital “The City of Washington” and the federal district “The Territory of Columbia”. Autograph document signed, one page, 4”x8”, In Council, 24 March 1778.
Col. Perigrino Tilghman of Talbot County is hereby appointed agent in the said County to purchase and buy up for the use of the Army of the United States fat Cattle, salted beef Pork and Bacon according to the Act of Assembly entitled an Act for the Service of the United States and to do and execute every matter and thing which ought to be done and executed by such agent by virtue of the Act aforesaid. Th Johnson”. Nice Revolutionary War dated item.................... $595.00