1831; eldest son of Gen. Albert Sidney and Henrietta (Preston)Johnston;
grandson of Dr. John and Abigail (Harris) Johnston of Washington, Ky., and
of Maj. William Preston of Louisville, Ky. He received his early education
in the Western Military institute, Georgetown, Ky.,and was graduated at Yale
in 1852. He was graduated from the Louisville Law school, in 1853, and
practiced in his native city. Upon the outbreak of the civil war he entered
the Confederate States army as major of the 1st Kentucky infantry, and was
subsequently promoted lieutenant-colonel. He was appointed an aide-de-camp
with the rank of colonel on the staff of President Davis, was captured with
President Davis and confined at Fort Delaware, and on his release went to
Canada. In 1866 he returned to Louisville and resumed the practice of law.
He was professor of history and English literature at Washington and Lee
university, Lexington, Va., 1867-74, and a lecturer on the history and
science of law there, 1875-80. He was president of the Louisiana State
University and Agricultural College at Baton Rouge, La., 1880-83, and in
1883 he was selected to organize an institution of learning for the higher
education of the white youth of Louisiana, under the terms of Paul Tulane's
donation aggregating $1,000,000, which resulted in the foundation of Tulane
University of Louisiana. He was president of the institution, 1883-99, and
in 1900 Edwin A. Alderman, D.C.L., president of the University of North
Carolina, succeeded to the presidency of Tulane. In 1886 the H. Sophia Newcomb memorial college was founded by Mrs. Josephine Louise Newcomb as a memorial to her daughter and devoted to the higher education of young women, and it was made auxiliary to the university. He was appointed a regent of the Smithsonian Institution in 1891. Washington and Lee university conferred upon him the [p.121] honorary degree of LL.D. in 1875. He is the author of: The Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston (1878); The Prototype of Hamlet (1890); The Johnstone of Salisbury (1897), and the poems Pictures of five Patriarchs, My Garden Walk, and Seekers after God, besides numerous addresses on educational and social subjects. He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Henry St. George Tucker, in Lexington, Va., July 17, 1899.
from: Biographies of Notable Americans, 1904"