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JOHNSON, WILEY (ca.1841–?). Wiley Johnson, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1868–69qv, was born a slave around 1841 in Arkansas and became skilled as a shoemaker. He probably arrived in Texas in 1863. In 1868 he served as a voter registrar in Harrison County. The Union League of his county nominated him as a Republican candidate for election to the convention; county voters selected him and three other candidates as their delegates. Johnson served on the public-debt committee at the convention and voted with three other black delegates against a proposal that would have divided Texas into more than one state. He expressed interest in constitutional provisions designed to care for widows, orphans, and the elderly but opposed the constitution drafted by the convention for not disfranchising former Confederates or repudiating acts of the state's Confederate government.


Harrel Budd, The Negro in Politics in Texas, 1867–1898 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1925). Randolph B. Campbell, A Southern Community in Crisis: Harrison County, Texas, 1850–1880 (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1983). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985).

Paul M. Lucko


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Paul M. Lucko, "JOHNSON, WILEY," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 25, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.