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Johnson, Richard Mentor

Richard Mentor Johnson (1780-1850) grew up fighting Indians on the Kentucky frontier and was appointed a colonel in the Kentucky militia during the War of 1812. He served as US Senator from Kentucky (1819-29) and as a member of the US House of Representative until 1837. When Martin Van Buren was elected President, Johnson became the ninth US Vice President, serving from 1837 to 1841. Nicknamed "Tecumseh Killer," Johnson claimed to have killed the Shawnee chieftain Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario, Canada, in 1813.