Born in Ireland, James Johnston came to Canada in 1815. In May 1827, he leased a property in Bytown. A blacksmith by trade, he was also a general merchant and an auctioneer. He was an Orangeman, claiming to have Scottish enemies, and his house was burned down by unknown people. On 24 February 1836, he launched a newspaper called the Bytown Independent & Farmer’s Advocate. It lasted exactly two issues [Reid 1988]. He acted as both publisher and editor of this paper [Hill 1922a, Haig 1975]. Johnston was a vehement critic of the Shiners, and on the night of 25 March 1837, he was attacked physically, but passers-by came to his rescue [Mika 1982]. Twice defeated at the polls, in 1834 and 1836, he was finally elected for Carleton in March 1841, and was easily reelected in 1844, resigning on 14 May 1846. He died in Bytown on 16 June 1849, and was survived by his wife Jane [Reid 1988].