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JOHNSON, EDWARD ISAAC (1816–1836). Edward Isaac Johnson, soldier, was born in 1816 in Portsmouth, England, the eldest of eight children of David Israel and Elizabeth (David) Johnson. The family moved to America, eventually settled in Cincinnati, and became prominent in the Jewish community there. During the Texas Revolution many people in Cincinnati sent supplies and men. Johnson decided to join the Texas forces "because he was promised 800 acres if he lived and 1,600 acres if he was killed in the battles for Texas independence." He volunteered for the Texas army at Maysville, Kentucky, and landed at Matagorda in November 1835 with Capt. Thomas K. Pearson's company. Pearson's men hauled a cannon salvaged from the wrecked schooner San Felipe to Gen. Edward Burleson's army at Bexar. Johnson fought at Refugio in Capt. Amon Butler King's company until King was killed. Johnson then marched to Goliad, where he joined a company under Capt. Burr H. Duval. He surrendered with other Texas volunteers to Mexican forces, who held the Texans prisoner in Goliad. During the executions Johnson, whether by accident or design, ignited the powder magazine and was killed by its explosion. He died on March 27, 1836, at Goliad. See also GOLIAD MASSACRE.


Henry Cohen, David Lefkowitz, and Ephraim Frisch, One Hundred Years of Jewry in Texas (Dallas: Jewish Advisory Committee, 1936). Harbert Davenport, "Men of Goliad," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 43 (July 1939). Hermann Ehrenberg, Texas und Seine Revolution (Leipzig: Wigand, 1843; abridged trans. by Charlotte Churchill, With Milam and Fannin, Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Isaac Markens, The Hebrews in America (New York, 1888; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1975). Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989).

Natalie Ornish


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

Natalie Ornish, "JOHNSON, EDWARD ISAAC," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 25, 2015. Uploaded on August 7, 2010. Modified on July 23, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.