George Washington Papers
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[Diary entry: 23 July 1774]

23. At home all day. Mr. Thoms. Johnson & Mr. Paca of Ann[ap]o[li]s & Mr. Digges & his Son George Dined here & went away afterwards.

Thomas Johnson, Jr. (1732–1819), the fifth child of Thomas Johnson, Sr. (d. 1777), and Dorcas Sedgwick Johnson (d. 1770), was born in Calvert County, Md. As a young man, Johnson read law in Annapolis with Stephen Bordley (1710–1764) and practiced law both in Annapolis and in frontier Frederick County, Md., where the Johnson family had interests in land and ironworks and where, by 1768, Johnson himself owned an interest in over 22,000 acres (DELAPLAINE description begins Edward S. Delaplaine. The Life of Thomas Johnson: Member of the Continental Congress, First Governor of the State of Maryland, and Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. New York, 1927. description ends , 67). In 1762 Johnson, an early and active promoter of commercial navigation on the upper Potomac, became a manager of the navigation company and began correspondence with GW on the feasibility of opening a canal above the great falls of the Potomac River (DELAPLAINE description begins Edward S. Delaplaine. The Life of Thomas Johnson: Member of the Continental Congress, First Governor of the State of Maryland, and Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. New York, 1927. description ends , 59–84; GW to Johnson [1762], DLC:GW). From 1762 until the Revolution, Johnson represented Anne Arundel County in the Maryland House of Delegates, becoming a moderate but firm leader in the popular resistance to British incursions upon American interests and rights.

William Paca (1740–1799), second son of John and Elizabeth Smith Paca, was born in Harford County, Md. From 1768 to the Revolution, Paca represented Talbot County in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he, like Johnson, actively fought the Proprietary party. Paca joined Johnson as a member of the Maryland committee of correspondence and became a Maryland delegate to the First Continental Congress.

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