“J” is for Johnson, Sir Nathaniel (1644-1712)
“J” is for Johnson, Sir Nathaniel (1644-1712). Governor. A native of Durham County, England, Johnson was a successful merchant and a member of Parliament for Newcastle. In 1686 he was appointed governor of the Leeward Islands and was also named a cassique of South Carolina. In 1703, with the support of the leading proprietors, Johnson assumed the governorship. Under his auspices the colony passed two acts in 1704—popularly known as the exclusion Act and the Church Act. The first permitted only communicants of the Church of England to hold office, while the second established the Church of England as the colony’s official church. The acts were disallowed in England, but Johnson and his allies enacted a less rigid Establishment Act in 1706, which formed the basis of South Carolina’s ecclesiastical and local government until 1778.