Johnson allegedly continued on to Boston to meet another of his idols, a welterweight from Barbados named Joe Walcott.
Johnson returned to Galveston and worked as a janitor, a stableboy, a hotel porter and a longshoreman. At one point, he got a job cleaning a gym and saved up enough money to buy a pair of boxing gloves.
United States Supreme Court
His first real fight was on the beach in the summer of , against another dockworker named John Lee. According to his autobiography, Johnson married a childhood friend named Mary Austin in No record of the marriage exists, and the census shows Johnson still living at home with his parents and siblings.
Whatever his marital state, Johnson soon realized that the options in his hometown were limited. There was nothing more for me to do in Galveston. The purses offered me were truly minimal — 10, 15 or 20 dollars at most.
John Lee Johnson from Texas: The Man from Texas
If I stayed there, all I'd have is debts for I had to pay one or two seconds and their wages absorbed the whole purse and sometimes more. So I decided to travel the world, to try to box from one coast to the other, and to attach myself to the training camp of a famous boxer.
Johnson's first stop was Chicago. Back To About Johnson.
Not preternatural but extraordinary, John has made enemies who will go great lengths to destroy him. As a former confederate soldier, he is beleaguered constantly by once union general Frank McGrew. McGrew holds John in disdain and now concentrates his hate toward the big Texan who wants nothing more than to live peacefully on his ranch with his beloved wife, Martha.
On the way, he meets an older man named Lambert, but Lambert has secrets of his own. Meanwhile, Johns rich, bachelor cousin Seth has women throwing themselves at his feet. His friend Floyd concocts a scheme to find the perfect woman for Seth while John prepares to fight a death battle in a hot pit of the Chihuahua Desert. John survived the Civil War; now, he must survive El Toro, McGrew, and those who plot to steal the peace hes worked so hard to find.
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