1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Johnson, Richard Mentor
JOHNSON, RICHARD MENTOR (1781-1850), ninth vice-president of the United States, was born at Bryant's Station, Kentucky, on the 17th of October 1781. He was admitted to the bar in 1800, and became prominent as a lawyer and Democratic politician, serving in the Federal House of Representatives and in the Senate for many years. From 1837 to 1841 he was vice-president of the United States, to which position he was elected over Francis Granger, by the Senate, none of the four candidates for the vice-presidency having received a majority of the electoral votes. The opposition to Johnson within the party greatly increased during his term, and the Democratic national convention of 1840 adopted the unprecedented course of refusing to nominate anyone for the vice-presidency. In the ensuing election Johnson received most of the Democratic electoral votes, but was defeated by the Whig candidate, John Tyler. He died in Frankfort, Kentucky, on the 19th of November 1850.