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REED, JOHNSON (ca. 1820–?). Johnson Reed, a Galveston County district clerk and political leader during the Reconstruction period, was born around 1820 in South Carolina. He was a Methodist minister of mixed racial ancestry. He was in Galveston County by 1869, when he won as a Republican over two white Democrats in the election for district clerk. Reed had also served as president of the state Union League in 1871 and as vice president of the state Convention of Colored Men in 1873. He was defeated for reelection in 1873. According to the 1870 federal census, Reed was married to a woman named Maria, also of mixed racial heritage, and the couple had a daughter living with them.


Harrel Budd, The Negro in Politics in Texas, 1867–1898 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1925). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985). James Smallwood, Time of Hope, Time of Despair: Black Texans during Reconstruction (London: Kennikat, 1981).

Paul M. Lucko


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

Paul M. Lucko, "REED, JOHNSON," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.