William Henry Johnson is potentially the first African American to practice law in the United States. Johnson was born into slavery in Richmond, Virginia on July 16, 1811. He was the property of Andrew Johnson. Small in stature, William Henry Johnson became a jockey. Although it is clear that Macon Allen was the first Black person to formally practice law, Johnson qualified for the bar in 1842. However, he was not sworn in until 1865. In 1859, Johnson tried a divorce case in Providence, Rhode Island, and in 1864, he also tried a criminal case on Cape Cod. Johnson was also appointed by Massachusetts Governor John Andrew as a Justice of the Peace in the New Bedford area from 1860 to 1863, thus making him one of the first black judicial appointees in the nation.