Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Edward Johnson (1767-1829)
MSA SC 3520-2825

Biography:

Source:  Wilbur F. Coyle, The Mayors of Baltimore (Reprinted from The Baltimore Municipal Journal, 1919), 19-21.
 
Edward Johnson was elected Mayor in 1808, 1810, 1812, 1814, 1819* and 1822. 

During the administrations of Mayor Johnson, the City acquired the fire plugs of the Baltimore Water Company, the municipality erecting all thereafter; the illumination of the streets by gas was recommended in 1816 and a Gas Company was authorized, by an ordinance of that year, to lay pipes in the streets, alleys, etc., for the distribution of gas.  In 1809 various City springs were systematically utilized as a water supply.  Stone bridges were built over Jones Falls at Pratt, at Baltimore and at Gay streets; bridges over Harford Run at Gough street and at German (now Pratt street) were authorized.  The office of Port Wardens (now Harbor Board) was created.  Authority for holding a lottery to provide funds for building an engine house was passed.  Lafayette's reception in Baltimore occurred during Mayor Johnson's administration, October 7th, 1824.  The Belvidere Bridge, spanning Jones Falls, near Greenmount Cemetery entrance, was completed.  A vagrant law was passed by the Legislature.   A yellow fever epidemic raged in 1819.  The battles of North Point and Ft. McHenry took place in 1814 and the Battle (or Baltimore) Monument, to commemorate those events, was begun in 1815.  It was the bombardment of Fort McHenry that inspired Key to write the "Star-Spangled Banner." 

The population of Baltimore in 1810 was 46,555 and in 1820 was 62,738. 

*In February, 1819, George Stiles, then Mayor, resigned, and Mr. Johnson was chosen to fill the unexpired term which ended in 1820, both being honored by the same electors.  Mr. Johnson was re-elected for the term 1822-24. 

*  *  *  *  *  * 

Dr. Edward Johnson was born in 1767.  He entered the practice of medicine at Baltimore in 1789 and the same year was appointed one of the attending physicians to the Almshouse of Baltimore City and County.  He served as a member of the Second Branch City Council when, after the incorporation of the City in 1797, this body was first organized and continued as Councilman until 1803.  He was a Judge of the Orphans' Court, also an Associate Judge in the City Court of Baltimore and was an "Elector of the President and Vice-President of the United States," as one historian expresses it.  On several occasions Dr. Johnson was a member of the House of Delegates and of the Maryland State Senate.  Mayor Johnson was very active and patriotic during the War of 1812-14, which occurred during one of his administrations, and to him fell many duties in connection with this war.  At this time of the Yellow Fever epidemic in 1820 also, he was Mayor, and it is recorded that his conduct during this epidemic was heroic.  The House of Industry was established in 1812, Dr. Johnson being one of the founders.  This institution became the House of Refuge in 1831, but is now known as the Maryland School for Boys.  Dr. Edward Johnson died April 18th, 1829, in his sixty-second year.  He is buried in Westminster Church Graveyard, Fayette and Greene Streets.

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