The Story of Old Fort Johnson

W. Max Reid





I. WILLIAM JOHNSON, Esq. [afterwards knight and baronet], was born at Smith Town, County Meath, Ireland, and subsequently adopted by his maternal uncle, Admiral Sir Peter Warren, K.B., capturer of Louisburg, &c., and went out with him to North America, where he rose to the rank of colonel in the British Army, Major-General of the provincial forces and [or] of the militia, 16th April, 1783 [?], and distinguished himself as a military commander during the French [American] War [1754-63], and as a negotiator with Indian tribes. He was created a baronet 27th Nov., 1755. In 1756 he received his commission as "Colonel, Agent and Sole Superintendent of all the affairs of the Six Nations and other Northern Indians," "with no subordination but to Loudon [London?]." He died 11th July, 1774 of chronic malignant dysentery, aged 59, at his seat, Johnson Hall, Tryon County, New York, leaving by Catherine Wisenberg [Weissenberg?], his wife:

I. JOHN, his heir.

II. Anne, married to Col. Daniel Claus, of North America, and died about 1798.

III. Mary, married to Col. Guy Johnson, and had two daughters: 1. Mary, wife of Field Marshall Lord Clyde, queller of the East India mutiny, originally Sir Colin Campbell, and mother of Gen. Sir Guy Campbell; 2. Julia.

The son and heir of Sir William Johnson, Bart.:

Statue of Sir William Johnson, Bart., Johnstown, N.Y.

II. Sir JOHN JOHNSON, of Johnson Hall, Tryon (afterwards Fulton) County, N.Y., finally of Mount Johnson, Montreal; colonel of regiment of horse in the northern district of New York, in 1773; Major-General of the militia belonging to the same portion of the province after the decease of his father; lieut.-col. commanding the loyal or provincial "King's Royal Regiment of New York," otherwise "The Queen's Loyal New Yorkers" or "Johnson's regiment of Queen's Royal Greens"; colonel, B.A., 21st October 1782; Brigadier-General of the provincial troops, &c., 14th March, 1782; superintendent-general and inspector-general of the Six Nations of Indians and their confederates, of all the Indians inhabiting the province of Quebec and the frontier, 16th September, 1791 [a copy of Sir John's commission]; colonel-in-chief of the six battalions of the militia of the eastern townships of Lower Canada. He was knighted at St. James's, London, 22d Nov., 1765. [On the death of his father, Sir William [I.], Sir John positively refused to accept the succession to the former's dignities and offices in connections with the Indians, and they were conferred upon his cousin, Guy Johnson, who exercised them throughout the Revolutionary War, and thus Sir John and Colonel Guy have often been confounded, to the disadvantage of Sir John. Sabine says, "Col. Guy Johnson's intemperate zeal for his royal master caused the first affray in that [Tryon] county."] Sir John married, 30th June, 1773, Mary, daughter of Hon. John Watts, Senior, Esq., sometime President of the King's Council of New York, and by her (who died 7th August, 1815) he had issue:

I. William, lieut.-col., born 1775; married, in 1802, Susan an extraordinary beauty daughter of Stephen de Lancey, Governor of Tobago, and sister of Sir William de Lancey, K.C.B., "Quartermaster-General of Wellington's army," killed at Waterloo; and died in 1812, leaving by her [who married, secondly, 1815, General Sir Hudson Lowe, K.C.B., and died 1832] three daughters:

1. Charlotte, married, in 1820, Alexander Count Balmain, Russian commissioner at St. Helena, and died in 1824.

2. Mary, died unmarried in 1814.

3. Susan, died unmarried in 1828.

II. Adam Gordon, IIId baronet.

III. James Stephen, captain 28th regiment, killed at Badajoz, born in 1785.

IV. Robert Thomas, drowned in Canada in 1812.

V. Warren, major 68th regiment, died 1813.

VI. John, of Point Oliver, Montreal, col. Commanding 6th battalion of militia, born 8th August, 1782; married 10th February, 1825, Mary Diana, daughter of Richard Dillon, Esq., of Montreal, and died 23d June, 1841, leaving issue:

1. William George, successor to his uncle, and present (in 1882) baronet.

2. Charles, captain Madras Artillery, born 4th February, 1833.

3. James Stephen, lieut. 14th foot, born 5th March, 1836; killed at Barbadoes.

4. Archibald Kennedy, born 20th June, 1839.

1. Maria Diana.

2. Anne Margaret.

3. Eliza Theresa.

4. Mary Anne.

VII. Charles Christopher, of Argenteuil, Canada East, born 29th October, 1798: lieut.-col. In the army; knight of the second class of the Persian Order of the Lion and Sun; married, 1818, Susan, eldest daughter of Admiral Sir Edward Griffiths, of Northbrook House, Hants [Hampshire] [who took the surname of Colpoys] and died 30th September, 1854, leaving:

1. William, an officer in 20th regiment, born 28th May, 1821, deceased.

2. John Ormsby, captain Royal Navy; born 11th August, 1822.

3. Charles Turquand, born 17th June, 1825, deceased.

4. Edward Colpoys, born 11th August, 1855, an officer in the army.

1. Maria Bowes, married, 18th June, 1867, Rev. Wm. Bell Christian, of Ewanrigg Hall, Cumberland, and Milntown, Isle of Man.

2. Mary Anne Susan.

VIII. Archibald Kennedy, born in 1792; married, 13th September, 1818, Maria Johnson, daughter of Patrick Langan, Esq., of Montreal, died 8th October, 1866.

1. Anne, married to Col. Edward Macdonnell, deputy quartermaster-general to the forces in Canada, who died in 1812.

2. Catherine Maria, one of the loveliest, wisest, and best of women, married in 1805 to Major General Barnard Foord Bowes, an officer of unusual ability and intrepidity, who fell in the attack upon the forts at Salamanca, 23d June, 1812. [See Harper' s Alison, III., 476 (2), and note, and other authorities on the War in Spain]. She died at Anglesey, near Gosport, England, in 1850.

3. Marianne, died 1st January, 1868.

Sir John died 4th January, 1830, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son -

III. Sir ADAM GORDON JOHNSON, lieut.-col. Of the 6th battalion of militia, born 6th May, 1781; who died unmarried 21st May, 1843, and was succeeded by his nephew, William George, the present (1882) baronet.

IV. Sir WILLIAM GORDON JOHNSON, of Twickenham, County of Middlesex, England, was graduated at Woolwich, and for the best portion of his life held a commission in the British army as captain of artillery, and acted in the discharge of various staff duties, at different posts, and once upon the island of St. Helena; born 19th December, 1830, succeeded as the IV. baronet at the decease of his uncle, in May, 1843.

ARMS. - Argent, two lions counter-rampant, supporting a dexter hand, gules; in chief, three estoilles of the last, and in bas, a salmon naiant in water, proper.

CREST. - An arm, gules, encircled with a ducal crown, or, the hand grasping a sword, proper, poniard and hilt, or.

MOTTO. - "Nec aspera terrent." "Difficulties do not stop (or deter) or dismay." "Boldness wins."



Transcribed from the original text and html prepared by Bill Carr, last updated 12/11/99.

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