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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Johnston, Thomas Pinkney

31 Oct. 1808–28 May 1883

Thomas Pinkney Johnston, pioneer Presbyterian missionary, was born in Rowan County, the son of William Smiley and Mary Hall Johnston. He entered The University of North Carolina from Iredell County and was graduated in 1828. After studying at the Union Theological Seminary in Virginia from 1829 to 1832, he was licensed by the Presbyterian church in October 1832.

The first foreign missionary from the Synod of North Carolina, Johnston served in Trebizond, Turkey, for twenty years (1833–53). He was a home missionary of the Concord Presbytery and agent of the American Bible Society in Mississippi during the period 1854–59, and home missionary and colporteur in North Carolina from 1860 until 1882. His wife was Mary Ann Howe of Ohio. He died at the home of the Reverend J. H. Thornwell in Fort Mills, S.C., in the presence of his son, the Reverend F. H. Johnston.


Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina, 1795–1924 (1924).

Minutes of the Sixty-ninth Session of the Synod of North Carolina (1883).

L. L. Polk, Handbook of North Carolina (1879).

E. C. Scott, Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U.S., 1861–1941 (1942).

Additional Resources:

Rockwell, E. F. (Elijah Frink). Centennial addresses on the life and character of Rev. James Hall, D.D.: and short sketches of the ministers of the Gospel who have descended from James and Prudence Hall. Covington, Tenn. : Tipton Record Power Presses. 1885.

Adams, Mary Lizzie Hall. The Hall Family History. 1949. 134.

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