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“J” is for Johnson, Robert (ca. 1676-1735)

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“J” is for Johnson, Robert (ca. 1676-1735). Governor. Born in England, Johnson was the son of proprietary governor Sir Nathaniel Johnson. In 1717 Robert was appointed governor. He personally led colonists’ attacks on pirates that resulted in the hanging of more than forty pirates in Charleston. In 1719 he was forced from office by the Revolution of 1719. Back in England and respected by both proprietors and royal officials, he negotiated the transition from proprietary colony to royal control. Later as the first royal governor of South Carolina, he implemented his visionary township system for the settlement of the Carolina frontier. Possibly his greatest overall contribution was his success in restoring social and political harmony during a volatile period in South Carolina’s history. Robert Johnson was “the most remarkable politician in the colonial history of South Carolina.”

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.