Vice-President Wednesday #5

This week’s Vice-President is: Richard M. Johnson!
johnson.jpegBorn:October 17, 1780
Died: November 19, 1850
Vice-President #: 9
Under: Martin Van Buren
Dates: March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841
Party: Democratic

Fun Facts: Johnson never married but he had an open relationship with his family slave, Julia Chinn, and they had two daughters together. Van Buren easily won the presidential election of 1836, but all 23 of Virginia’s electors would not vote for his running mate, Johnson, because of his relationship with a black woman. Johnson therefore received 147 electoral votes, one shy of the majority required to elect. According to the 12th Amendment, “if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President.” After voting, President pro tempore of the Senate, and ex-Vice-President of the Week, William R. King announced that Johnson had been “constitutionally elected Vice President of the United States for four years, commencing on the fourth day of March, 1837.”

Also, although never proven, Johnson received most of his national notoriety for being credited with personally killing Shawnee Indian Chief, Tecumseh, at the Battle of Thames in 1813. One of his political slogans became: “Ripsey Rampsey, Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson Shot Tecumseh.”


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