1819-1829, U.S. Senator Richard Johnson


This U.S. Senator Richard Johnson history mug is one of a collection of U.S. Governance biographical mugs.  An image of Richard Johnson and a short biography are features of this history mug.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

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Richard Johnson is the only vice president ever elected by the U.S. Senate under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment.  In 1836, Johnson was the Democratic nominee for vice president on a ticket with Martin Van Buren.  He fell one vote short of the electoral votes need to secure his election.  Virginia᾽s delegation to the Electoral College went against the state’s popular vote and refused to endorse Johnson, thus leading to his election to office by the Senate.  Johnson was such a liability for the Democrats that in the 1840 election they refused to renominate him.  This set the stage for President Martin Van Buren to run for reelection without a running mate, losing to William Henry Harrison of the Whig Party.

The United States Senate and House of Representatives comprise the legislative branch of the U.S. government.  Each state has two senators regardless of the state’s population.  U.S. senators serve staggered terms of six years.  Prior to 1913, senators were appointed by their state legislatures.  This changed with the 17th Amendment, which mandated senators be elected by popular vote.  The Senate has the power to ratify treaties and to confirm cabinet secretaries, federal judges, Supreme Court justices, and other federal executive officials.

Richard Johnson was a member of the U.S. Senate prior to his election as vice president.  Many of the men who become president and vice president first served in Congress as members of the House of Representatives or in the U.S. Senate.  A number of these individuals first served in their state government as governor, state senator or in their state House of Representatives.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia-tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.


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