Inclusive dates
Transcripts of correspondence, 1781-1797, of Zachariah Johnston of Augusta and Rockbridge Counties, Virginia, consisting of a letter, dated 23 March 1781, to Johnston from Edmund Randolph (1753-1813), his attorney, stating that he cannot establish certain fees; a letter, dated 3 November 1787, to Johnston from William Graham of Rockbridge County stating that he wishes to meet with Johnston and discuss opposition to the federal Constitution; a letter, dated 14 November 1791, to Johnston from James Monroe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, commenting on increasing representation to suit the population; a letter, dated 27 March 1792, to Johnston from Harry [Henry] Lee, of Richmond, Virginia, stating that he cannot buy certain lands that Johnston owns; a letter, dated 11 January 1797, to Johnston from Randolph acknowledging the receipt of papers concerning a case and stating he will take care of the matter; a letter, dated 7 November 1797, to Johnston from Randolph, stating that he will attend several legal matters for Johnson; and a letter, n.d., to Johnston from John Marshall concerning a case that Marshall and Randolph are handling for Johnston
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Biographical or historical data
Zachariah Johnston was born in 1742 in Augusta County, Virginia, to William Johnston and Ann Johnston. He attended Liberty Hall Academy and later was a trustee of Washington College. Johnston was a prosperous farmer by the time the American Revolution began. In 1776, he was appointed a captain in the county militia. Johnston's company actively patrolled against Indian uprisings, and, in 1781, participated in the Virginia campaign which led to Lord Cornwallis' surrender. Representing Augusta County in the House of Delegates from 1778 to 1791, Johnston was chair of the House committee on religion and helped pass the "act for establishing religious freedom" in 1786. After he moved to Rockbridge County, Virginia, in 1792, he represented that county in the House of Delegates in 1792 and 1797-1798. An opponent of paper money, and a proponent of court reform and payment of British debts, Johnston supported the federal Constitution in 1788. As Augusta County's representative to the ratifying convention, he was influential in having his section of the state unanimously vote for ratification. In the 1790s, Johnston was interested in connecting Virginia's western rivers to the Potomac River. Johnston owned 3 plantations in Rockbridge County, 1 in Augusta County, and lands in Kentucky. He married Ann Robertson (d. 1818), and they had 11 children. He died 7 January 1800 in Rockbridge County.
Cataloging source
Form designation
  • The Library of Virginia
Immediate source of acquisition
Walton, B. F., Mrs.
Reproduction note
Photostats (negative).
Type of unit

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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