Reverdy Johnson, an American statesman, born in Annapolis, Md., May 21, 1796. He was educated at St. John's college in that city, and at the age of 17 began to study law in Prince George's co. in the office of his father, who was chief justice of the judicial district of which that county was a part. In 1815 he was admitted to the bar, and in 1817 removed to Baltimore. He has devoted much of his time to the arguing of cases before the United States supreme court. In conjunction with Mr. Thomas Harris he reported the decisions of the Maryland court of appeals, known as " Harris's and Johnson's Reports" (7 vols., 1820-27). In 1821 he was elected a state senator for four years, and in 1825 reelected. In 1845 he was chosen a United States senator, which office he resigned in 1849 on being appointed by President Taylor attorney general of the United States. On the succession of Mr. Fillmore after the death of President Taylor, Mr. Johnson resigned that office, and resumed in Baltimore the practice of the law. In 1861 he was a member of the convention in Washington which tried to prevent the outbreak of the civil war.

In 1862 he was again elected to the United States senate, and was a member from 1863 to 1868. In June of the latter year he was appointed minister to England, where he negotiated a treaty for the settlement of the Alabama claims, which was rejected by the senate. He was recalled in 1869.