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Allan McLane

McLANE, Allan, soldier and jurist, born 8 August, 1746; died in Wilmington, Delaware, 22 May, 1829. He removed to Kent county, Delaware, in 1774, and took an early and active part in the American Revolution. He was a volunteer in the Great Bridge fight, near Norfolk, Virginia, in 1775, where the Virginia militia repelled an assault of 600 British and Tories with a loss of 55 to the enemy in killed and wounded, only one of the patriots being injured. Afterward he joined Rodney's Delaware regiment as lieutenant, sacrificing his valuable property in Philadelphia when that city was occupied by the British. He fought gallantly at the battles of Long Island, While Plains, Princeton, Monmouth, and Yorktown, and retired from the army at the close of the war with the rank of colonel. In a personal combat with three British dragoons near Frankford, Pennsylvania, he killed one, wounded another, and compelled the third to retire On his return to civil life he was first made judge of the court of appeals of Delaware In 1790 Washington appointed him United States marshal of that state, which post he held until 1798. In 1808 Jefferson appointed him collector of the port of Wilmington, Delaware, in which office he remained until his death, having been reappointed under three different administrations, irrespective of party. He was also a member and speaker of the legislature.--His son, Louis, statesman, born in Smyrna, Delaware, 28 May, 1786" died in Baltimore, Maryland, 7 October, 1857, entered the United States navy as midshipman at the age of twelve and cruised one year in the " Philadelphia" under Commander Stephen Decatur. In 1801 he left the navy and entered Newark college, Delaware, afterward studying law under James A. Bayard, and being admitted to the bar in 1807, when he began to practise in Smyrna. He served as a volunteer in Caesar A. Rodney's company in the defence of Baltimore against the threatened attack of the British in 1814, and was afterward elected to congress as a Democrat, serving from 1 December, 1817, till 3 March, 1827, and voting against the admission of slavery into Missouri and the territories. From 3 December, 1827, till 16 April, 1829, he served as United States senator, resigning to accept the appointment of minister to England, which post he held from 18 April, 1829, till 6 July, 1831, when he resigned to become secretary of the treasury. He held this office from 8 August, 1831, till 29 May, 1833, and he was then transferred to the department of state in consequence of his refusal to sanction the removal of the deposits from the Bank of the United States. In 1834 he retired from political life to his estate in Cecil county, Maryland From 1837 till 1847 he was president of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad company, whose affairs he managed with vigor and success. He was again appointed minister to England during the Oregon negotiations, but resigned after their settlement, serving from 16 June, 1845, till 18 August, 1846. His last public service was as a delegate to the Maryland constitutional convention of 1850-'1.--Louis's eldest son, Robert Milligan, diplomatist, born in Wilmington, Delaware, 23 June, 1815, after attending a private school in his native city and St. Mary's college, Baltimore, was placed by his father in the College Bourbon, Paris. He afterward entered the United States military academy, where he was graduated in 1817, and assigned to the 1st artillery, he joined his regiment the same summer in Florida, and took an active part in the Seminole war. The next year he joined General Winfield Scott in the Cherokee country, Georgia, and after another period of service in Florida, under General Taylor, he was ordered to join Captain Augustus Canfield, in the autumn of 1839, in a military survey of the northern lakes, and in 1841 he was sent to Europe for the purpose of examining the system of dikes and drainage in Holland and Italy. Before going to Europe he had studied law, and had been admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia, and in 1843 he resigned his commission in the army and began the practice of his profession. He took an immediate and commanding position as a public speaker in Maryland, and in the exciting presidential campaign of 1844 made extraordinary efforts to carry the state for the Democrats. The next year he was elected to congress, and he was reelected in 1847. He supported the Mexican-war policy of Polk's administration, and in 1849 was again elected to congress by an increased majority. At the expiration of his third successive term he went to California, where he was actively engaged in professional business until the summer of 1852. In the autumn of that year he was elected one of the Maryland presidential electors, and the next year he was appointed United States commissioner to China with the power of a minister plenipotentiary', being at the same time accredited to Japan, Siam, Corea, and Cochin-China. He arrived at Hong Kong in April, 1854, having an important naval force under his control. The object of his mission being accomplished, he requested to be recalled, and returned home early in 1856. The same year he was a Maryland delegate to the National Democratic convention that nominated James Buchanan for the presidency. In 1859 he was appointed minister to Mexico, and negotiated a treaty for the protection of the lives and property of American citizens. After the secession of the cotton states he resigned, and, returning to Baltimore, took an active part in the public discussions of the winter of 1861. When the Maryland legislature met, in extra session, in May, 1861, he was one of a committee to confer with President Lincoln in reference to what were regarded as the unconstitutional proceedings of the United States authorities within the state. Upon the report of this commission, the legislature resolved that it was inexpedient for the state to secede, he retired from public life from that time, and was engaged for several years as counsel for the Western Pacific railroad, his duties requiring him to spend his time between New York, Paris, and San Francisco. In 1876 he was one of the Maryland delegates to the National Democratic convention that nominated Samuel J. Tilden for the presidency, and the next year he was elected a Maryland state senator for four years, but in 1878 he was elected to the house o f representatives, and re-elected in 1880. In 1883 he was elected governor of Maryland, but he resigned in 1885, upon being appointed minister to France by President Cleveland.

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