Author: Jason Velez


Henry Johnson (1842–1922)

Henry Johnson represented Amelia and Nottoway counties in the House of Delegates during the 1889–1890 term, the last session in which African Americans sat in that governing body for more than seventy years. Born enslaved, Johnson was a laborer by 1870 who owned land on which he farmed. He became involved in Amelia County politics and in 1879 won the first of seven terms on the county’s board of supervisors. He unanimously won the Republican Party‘s nomination for the House of Delegates in his district in 1889, and then captured the general election. During his term he attended a meeting of African Americans who asked Congress to protect them from increasing disfranchisement. He did not run for reelection and soon thereafter became a teacher. He died in Jetersville in 1922.