Johnson, Guy

Other names: Colonel
Birth: 1740 in County Meath, Ireland
Death: March 3, 1788 in London, England

British Army; New York Government






Military and political leader

  • Amsterdam, NY (from 1763 to 1775)

October 1774: Guy Johnson issued the Brothertown land deed to Joseph Johnson.

Marital status

Guy Johnson married Mary (Polly), one of Sir William Johnson's daughters, in 1763. They had two daughters. Mary died in childbirth at Oswego in 1775, while they were fleeing to Canada.


After immigrating to America in 1756, Guy Johnson, Sir William Johnson’s nephew and eventual son-in-law, served in the army during the Seven Years War. From 1762 on, he worked as Sir William's deputy in addition to serving in the New York militia and New York Assembly (1773-1775). When Sir William Johnson died in July of 1774, Guy Johnson succeeded him as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Northeast. He issued Brothertown’s land deed that October. While Sir William Johnson was relatively moderate in his loyalties to England, his successors—Sir John Johnson, Daniel Claus, and Guy Johnson—were much more fervent in their loyalism. All three men tried their best to keep the Six Nations loyal to Britain during the Revolution, with limited success. Because of his loyalism, Guy Johnson clashed with Samuel Kirkland, a Moor’s Indian Charity School alumnus, over Kirkland’s attempts to persuade the Oneida to support the colonies. Guy Johnson spent much of the Revolution assisting the British Army in various ways. After the war, he relocated to Canada and resumed his duties as superintendent. In 1783, he was accused of embezzling funds from the Indian department, and he turned his post over to Sir John Johnson so that he could travel to London with the dual purpose of clearing his name and reclaiming some of the Johnson estate that had been lost in the Revolution. He died while in London.


Lothrop, Samuel K. Life of Samuel Kirkland, Missionary to the Indians. Boston, MA: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1848. O'Toole, Fintan. White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America. New York: Macmillan 2005. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Rossie, Jonathan G. “Johnson, Guy.” In Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 4, University of Toronto/Universite Laval, 2003. Accessed 1/21/2014.