Lane, Joseph, 1801-1881

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Joseph Lane was born in North Carolina December 14, 1801, and moved to Kentucky when he was three years old. At age fourteen Lane moved away from his family to Indiana. At the age of twenty-one Lane married Mary Hart Polly. The couple had eight children. From 1822 to 1846, Lane served in the Indiana State Legislature. After serving in the war against Mexico, where he became a major-general in 1847, he accepted the position as Territorial Governor of Oregon. Lane was sworn in as Governor on March 3, 1849. Purchasing land along the Willamette River, near Oregon City, Lane built a home. In the 1850s, Lane operated an unsuccessful lumber mill and worked in the mines in Northern California. Lane became a delegate to Congress in 1851 as a Democrat, and became Oregon's first Senator, serving from 1859 to 1861. There were two initial pieces of legislation that Lane proposed while he was in Congress. He wanted to move Oregon's capital from Oregon City to Salem, which failed. Lane also proposed roads leading from Walla Walla, Washington to the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. While Lane served in Congress, a majority of his efforts were spent on the issue of slavery. Lane believed that the states, not federal government, should dictate slavery decisions in each state. Lane was re-elected to Congress in 1857 and continued to focus on state's rights. Lane also focused on Native American issues in Oregon. In 1857, Lane and other Oregon leaders pushed Native American tribes in the Umpqua Valley back onto reservations. Lane unsuccessfully tried to enact Congressional legislation that would use federal funds to enforce containing Native Americans to reservations. While the legislation did not pass, Lane continued to push for measures that would benefit the people represented by Oregon's pioneer government. Lane's role in Congress ended in March 1861, as his pro-slavery beliefs did not resonate with the public. While he did not contribute to Oregon politics after 1861, he did run for and lost his bid for a state senate seat in 1880, at the age of 79. In 1870, Lane's wife died, and Lane continued to live with much of his extended family near Roseburg, Oregon. He died on April 19, 1881. Lane County, Oregon is named for Joseph Lane.

From the description of Joseph Lane papers, 1872-1887. (University of Oregon Libraries). WorldCat record id: 53196871

Joseph Lane was born in North Carolina in 1801. He distinguished himself while serving in the Mexican War and was later appointed by President James Polk to be the first governor of the Oregon Territory (1849-1850). After serving as governor, he was elected delegate to the U.S. Congress for Oregon, a post he held for four terms before being appointed one of Oregon's first U.S. Senators. In 1860, Lane ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic vice-presidential candidate with John Breckenridge. He left Congress shortly after the election and spent his last twenty years outside public office.

From the description of Joseph Lane papers, 1848-1875 (bulk 1850-1858). (Oregon Historical Society Research Library). WorldCat record id: 34303162

Joseph Lane, first Territorial Governor of Oregon, Territorial delegate to Congress, and U.S.

Senator, was born in North Carolina in 1801. His family moved to Kentucky when he was a

young man, and Lane later went on to Indiana, where he married Mary (Polly) Hart in 1820 and became active in politics. Distinguishing himself in the Mexican War, he was eventually appointed by President James K. Polk to be the first governor of the Oregon Territory, arriving in Oregon City on March 2, 1849. Known for his good relations with the Cayuse and Rogue River Indians, Lane was recognized as the principal architect of the peace treaty with the Rogue River Indian tribal chiefs, which was signed at Table Rock in September 1853.

On June 18, 1850, Lane resigned his governorship and was soon elected Oregon

delegate to Congress, a position he held until 1859. While in Congress he advocated policies of economic growth, peace with the Indians, postal reform, and internal improvements for Oregon, as well as amendments to the Oregon donation land law. When Oregon was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859, Joseph Lane and Delazon Smith became the first of the state's U.S. Senators. Lane remained in the Senate until his retirement on March 3, 1861.

After attempting to secure the Democratic presidential nomination in 1852, and again in 1856, Lane was selected as the vice-presidential candidate in 1860 on the John Breckinridge Democratic ticket, which did not oppose Confederate secession. After the ticket's defeat, Lane lost his political support in Oregon and announced his retirement from public life. He spent his last twenty years on his farm near Roseburg, Oregon.

From the guide to the Joseph Lane papers, 1848-1940, 1850-1858, (Oregon Historical Society)

Joseph Lane was born in North Carolina on December 14, 1801, and he and his family moved to Kentucky when he was three years old. Lane moved away from his family to Indiana at age fourteen to work as a clerk in a store. After acquiring a farm and his own business at the age of twenty-one, Lane married Mary Hart Polly. The couple had eight children.

In his early twenties, Lane served on the Indiana state legislature from 1822 to 1846. After serving in the war against Mexico, where he became a major-general in 1847, he accepted the position as governor of Oregon. He moved with his oldest son, leaving the rest of his family behind. Lane was sworn in as governor on March 3, 1849. Purchasing land along the Willamette River, near Oregon City, Lane built a home. In the 1850s, Lane operated an unsuccessful lumber mill and worked in the mines in Northern California.

Lane became a delegate to Congress in 1851 as a Democrat, after beating opponent William H. Wilson. He became Oregon’s first Senator, serving from 1859 to 1861. There were two initial pieces of legislation that Lane proposed while he was in Congress. He wanted to move Oregon’s capital from Oregon City to Salem, which failed. Lane also proposed roads leading from Walla Walla, Washington to the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. The proposal was passed and the roads were built over a series of years.

While Lane served in Congress, a majority of his efforts were spent on the issue of slavery. Lane believed that the states, not federal government legislation, should dictate slavery decisions in each state. The slave debate grew in Oregon during the 1850s as it grew as a national issue. Although Lane did not fight as a solider in the Civil War, he used his efforts to support slave states by proposing a variety of legislation in Congress.

Lane was reelected to Congress in 1857 and continued to focus on state’s rights. Lane also focused on the Native American issues that Oregon faced. In 1857, Lane and other leaders in Oregon pushed Native America tribes in the Umpqua Valley back onto reservations. Lane unsuccessfully tried to enact Congressional legislation that would use federal funds to enforce containing Native Americans to reservations. While this piece of legislation did not pass, Lane continued to push for measures that would benefit the people represented by Oregon’s pioneer government.

Lane’s role in Congress ended in March, 1861, as his pro-slavery beliefs did not resonate with the public. While he did not contribute to Oregon politics after 1861, he did run for and lose his bid for a state senate seat in 1880, at the age of 79. In 1870, Lane’s wife died and Lane continued to live with much of his extended family just outside of Roseburg, Oregon. He died on April 19, 1881. Lane County, Oregon is named for Joseph Lane.

Joseph Lane had one son, Lafayette Lane, who served in Congress from 1875 to 1877 and a grandson, Dr. Harry Lane, that served in Congress from 1913 to 1917.

Sources: Henderickson, James E. Joe Lane of Oregon: Machine Politics and the Sectional Crisis, 1849-1861 . New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967.

Oregon. Office of the Secretary of State. Oregon Blue Book . Salem, Oregon. 2001-2002.

From the guide to the Joseph Lane papers, 1848-1887, (Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Seized Correspondence of Rose O'Neal Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letters from Joe Lane to Mrs. Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Telegraph Dispatch from Joe Lane Concerning Presidential Nominations
referencedIn Albert G. Brackett Letters Doc 5173., 1846-1863 Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
referencedIn Evans, Elwood, 1828-1898,. Campaign of Maj. Gen. John E. Wool, U.S. Army, against the people and authorities of Oregon and Washington, 1855-6. Yale University Library
referencedIn Matthew Paul Deady Papers, 1850-1923 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Seized Correspondence of Rose O'Neal Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letters from Joe Lane to Mrs. Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letter from Joe Lane to Rose Greenhow Concerning Minority Platform Adoption
referencedIn Stover, Allen C., b. 1887,. Allen C. Stover collection [manuscript], circa 1900-1950. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Seized Correspondence of Rose O'Neal Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letters from Joe Lane to Mrs. Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letter from Joe Lane to Rose Greenhow Concerning Business with Senators
referencedIn Foster, Philip, 1805-1884. Philip Foster papers, 1834-967 (bulk 1844-1874). Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Lane, Joseph, 1801-1881. Joseph Lane papers, 1872-1887. University of Oregon Libraries, UO Libraries
referencedIn Oregon. Clackamas County. Judgement docket 1846-1859. Oregon State Archives
referencedIn Augustus Mendon Lord collection, Lord (Augustus Mendon) collection, (bulk 1876-1908), 1778-1908 John Hay Library, Special Collections
creatorOf Joseph Lane papers, 1848-1940, 1850-1858 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Lane, Joseph, 1801-. [Papers]. Indiana State Library - ISL
referencedIn James Willis Nesmith papers., 1845-1961, 1845-1885 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Morris, R. M. (Robert M.), 1824-1896. Journal of an overland trip to California and other Army assignments, 1849-1853. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn William M. King Papers, 1832-1873 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Philip Foster papers, 1834-1967, 1844-1874 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Seized Correspondence of Rose O'Neal Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letters from Joe Lane to Mrs. Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letter from Joe Lane to Rose Greenhow Concerning Personal Matters
referencedIn Kelly, James K., 1819-1903. Papers, 1855-1861. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Joel Palmer papers, 1783-1982, 1848-1880 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Seized Correspondence of Rose O'Neal Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letters from Joe Lane to Mrs. Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letter from Joe Lane Informing Rose Greenhow about His Brigadier Generalship Application
referencedIn New Harmony Manuscripts, 1812-1871 Working Men's Institute of New Harmony, Indianahttp://www.workingmensinstitute.org/
creatorOf General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Seized Correspondence of Rose O'Neal Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letters from Joe Lane to Mrs. Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letter from Joe Lane to Rose Greenhow Concerning His Feebleness
referencedIn Lane, Joseph, 1801-. [Papers]. Indiana State Library - ISL
referencedIn Morris, R. M. (Robert M.), 1824-1896. Journal of an overland trip to California and other Army assignments, 1849-1853. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Lane, Joseph, 1801-1881. Joseph Lane papers, 1848-1875 (bulk 1850-1858). Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Jackson, Henry R. (Henry Rootes), 1820-1898. Henry Rootes Jackson scrapbook, ca. 1860. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
creatorOf Joseph Lane papers, 1848-1887 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
referencedIn Stevens, Isaac Ingalls, 1818-1862. Letter, Aug. 9, 1860. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
referencedIn Galloway family papers, 1851-1981 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Planter's Hotel (Fredericksburg, Va.). Register of guests including a forged signature of Abraham Lincoln, 22 January 1861 [manuscript] 1860-1861. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Smith, Joelle, 1958-2005,. Joelle Smith portraits of Oregon pioneers [manuscript], 1976. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Lane, Joseph, 1801-1881. Joseph Lane autobiography [microform] : [notes supplied for Bancroft's history of Oregon, 1878-1879]. Washington State Library, Office of Secretary of State
referencedIn Deady, Matthew P. (Matthew Paul), 1824-1893. Matthew P. Deady papers, 1850-1923. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Shortess, Robert, 1797-1878. Papers, 1843-1877. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn The making of Oregon : manuscript collection, 1804-1883. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Galloway family. Galloway family papers, 1851-1981. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Lanman, Charles, 1819-1895,. Charles Lanman collection on congressional biography [manuscript], 1858-1869. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Seized Correspondence of Rose O'Neal Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letters from Joe Lane to Mrs. Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letter from Joe Lane to Rose Greenhow Concerning Personal Matters
referencedIn Curry, Geo. L. (George Law), 1820-1878. George Law Curry papers, 1848-1877. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Palmer, Joel, 1810-1881. Joel Palmer papers, 1784-1911 (bulk 1848-1857). Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn McCarty, Alexander V. Alexander V. McCarty letter to Joseph Lane [manuscript], 1854 April 5. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Assistant to the President (Bert Dotson) Records, 1960-1975 Lane Community College (Eugene, Or.) Archives
creatorOf General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Seized Correspondence of Rose O'Neal Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letters from Joe Lane to Mrs. Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letter from Joe Lane to Rose Greenhow Concerning Stephen Douglas' Nomination and the Convention
creatorOf General Records of the Department of State. 1763 - 2002. Seized Correspondence of Rose O'Neal Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letters from Joe Lane to Mrs. Greenhow. 8/23/1861 - 8/23/1861. Letter from Joe Lane to Rose Greenhow Concerning His Sickness
referencedIn Heard, J. Theodore. Letters to Heard from friends and family 1855-82. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Lander, F. W. (Frederick West), 1821-1862. Papers of F. W. Lander, 1836-1894 (bulk 1849-1862). Library of Congress
referencedIn KOIN (Radio station : Portland, Or.). Northwest Neighbors scripts [manuscript], 1947-1948. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Oregon Governors and Senators papers, 1848-1903. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Institutional Advancement (Larry Romine) Records, 1964-1994 Lane Community College (Eugene, Or.) Archives
creatorOf Lane, Joseph, 1801-1881. Joseph Lane autobiography : Notes supplied for Bancroft's history of Oregon, June-Dec., 1878; and related materials : ms., 1878-1879. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Nesmith, James Willis, 1820-1885. James Willis Nesmith papers, 1845-1885. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Oregon. Clackamas County. Deed idexes 1850-1859. Oregon State Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
correspondedWith Abernethy, George, 1807-1877 person
correspondedWith Abernethy, George, 1807-1888 person
correspondedWith Alvord, Benjamin, 1813-1884 person
correspondedWith Applegate, Jesse A., 1811-1888 person
correspondedWith Atkinson, G. H. (George Henry), 1819-1889 person
associatedWith Bancroft, Hubert Howe, 1832-1918. person
correspondedWith Blain, Wilson, 1813-1861 person
correspondedWith Blanchet, Francis Norbert, 1795-1883 person
correspondedWith Boise, Reuben Patrick, 1819-1907 person
associatedWith Bowman, Amos. person
associatedWith Brackett, Albert G. (Albert Gallatin), 1829-1896 person
correspondedWith Breckenridge, John C. (John Cabell), 1821-1875 person
correspondedWith Bryant, William P., 1806-1860 person
correspondedWith Bush, Asahel, 1824-1913 person
correspondedWith Curry, Geo. L. (George Law), 1820-1878. person
correspondedWith Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889 person
correspondedWith Deady, Matthew P. (Matthew Paul), 1824-1893 person
associatedWith Democratic Party (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Evans, Elwood, 1828-1898, person
associatedWith Faubion, Nina Lane person
associatedWith Faubion, Nina Lane. person
correspondedWith Foster, Philip, 1805-1884. person
correspondedWith Galloway family family
correspondedWith Galloway family. family
correspondedWith Gibbs, A. C. (Addison Crandall), 1825-1886 person
correspondedWith Grover, La Fayette, 1823-1911 person
associatedWith Heard, J. Theodore. person
correspondedWith Holbrook, Amory, 1820-1866 person
correspondedWith Huntington, John Webster Perit, 1831-1869 person
associatedWith Jackson, Henry R. (Henry Rootes), 1820-1898. person
associatedWith Kelly, James K., 1819-1903. person
associatedWith King, William M., 1800-1869 person
associatedWith KOIN (Radio station : Portland, Or.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lander, F. W. (Frederick West), 1821-1862. person
associatedWith Lane Community College (Eugene, Or.) Institutional Advancement corporateBody
associatedWith Lane Community College (Eugene, Or.) President's Office corporateBody
associatedWith Lane, Joseph, 1801- person
associatedWith Lanman, Charles, 1819-1895, person
associatedWith Lord, Augustus Mendon, 1861-1941 person
correspondedWith McBride, John Rogers, 1832-1904 person
correspondedWith McCarty, Alexander V. person
correspondedWith Meek, Joseph Lafayette, 1810-1875 person
associatedWith Morris, R. M. (Robert M.), 1824-1896. person
correspondedWith Nesmith, James Willis, 1820-1885 person
correspondedWith New Harmony (Ind.) Working Men's Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith Oregon. Clackamas County. corporateBody
associatedWith Oregon. Clackamas County. corporateBody
correspondedWith Palmer, Joel, 1810-1881 person
associatedWith Planter's Hotel (Fredericksburg, Va.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Pratt, Orville C., 1819-1891 person
correspondedWith Shortess, Robert, 1797-1878. person
correspondedWith Smith, Delazon person
associatedWith Smith, Delazon, 1816-1860. person
associatedWith Smith, Joelle, 1958-2005, person
associatedWith Stevens, Isaac Ingalls, 1818-1862. person
associatedWith Stover, Allen C., b. 1887, person
correspondedWith Thornton, J. Quinn (Jessy Quinn), 1810-1888 person
associatedWith United States. Congress. Senate. corporateBody
associatedWith Victor, Frances Fuller, 1826-1902. person
associatedWith Victor, Francis Auretta Fuller Barrett, 1826-1902. person
correspondedWith White, Elijah, 1806-1879 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Oregon
California
United States
Oregon
Oregon Territory
United States
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon
Oregon Territory
Oregon
California
United States
Subject
Governors--Oregon
Governor
Indians of North America--Relocation
Gold mines and mining
Whitman Massacre, 1847
Tututni Indians--Wars
Rogue River War, 1853
Pacific Coast Indians, Wars with, 1847-1865
Indians of North America--Wars
Pacific Northwest History
African Americans
Military
Native Americans
Pioneers
Governor--Correspondence
Indians of North America--Warfare
Oregon
Diaries
Indians of North America
Slavery--Justification
Indians of North America--Oregon--Wars
Legislators--United States--Correspondence
Vice--Presidential candidates--United States--Correspondence
Indians of North America--Oregon--Government relations
Government and Politics
Governors--Oregon--Correspondence
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Indians of North America--Relocation--Oregon
Legislators--Correspondence
Indians of North America--Government relations
Indians--Warfare
Vice--Presidential candidates--Correspondence
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1801-12-14

Death 1881-04-19

English

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