Hilary Richard Wright Johnson (June 1, 1837 – 1900) served as the 11th President of Liberia from 1884 to 1892. He was elected four times. He served as Secretary of State before his presidency, under the administration of Edward James Roye.
An Americo-Liberian, Johnson was the first Liberian president born in Africa. His father was Elijah Johnson, one of the original African-American settlers who founded the colony at Cape Mesurado.
Nominated by both the Republican Party and True Whig parties, Johnson ran unopposed in his first election and then declared himself a True Whig after winning the election. The endorsement of Johnson by the two political parties — which stood on opposite sides of the color divide — signaled a truce regarding colorism between mulatto Americo-Liberian settlers and darker-skinned Americo-Liberian settlers and was replaced on concentrating overall Americo-Liberian political power and economic wealth. (Source: Wikipedia)
- In 1885, Johnson agreed to the annexation of the Gallinas territory after the US Government had advised him to yield to the British demands.
- During Johnson’s presidency, Liberia asked US for military assistance to curb an internal uprising, which the French were thought to have helped instigate, but the request was denied
- Johnson’s son, Frederick Eugene Richelieu Johnson, was Liberia’s longest serving Chief Justice.