Herschel Vespasian Johnson (Dictionary of American Biography)

Dumas Malone, ed., Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1961), 5: 102.
He maintained that the North and South should share equally in the benefits to be derived from the territories and that the people of each territory should decide for themselves the question of slavery. The compromise measures of 1850 did not meet with his approval but he was willing to accept them rather than to encourage the spirit of secession, although at this time he insisted that the rights of the South in the Union should be recognized.
He was elected by the Democrats to the governorship of Georgia and served two terms, 1853-1857. While he deplored the resort to force in the territory of Kansas by both the advocates and opponents of slavery, he supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Writing to a group of influential Northern men in regard to the extension of slavery into the territories, he said: “The South does not desire to increase the slave power in the government for the purpose of aggrandizement. She rather desires to retain her power – preserve an equilibrium – to enable her to counteract aggression under the forms of legislation.”
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