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Joel Lane

LANE, Joel, pioneer, born in Halifax county, North Carolina, in 1740, died in Wake county, North Carolina, in 1795. He removed with his two brothers, Joseph and Jesse, from Halifax to Wake county N. C., was one of the first settlers in that region, and amassed a large fortune. In 1775 he was a member of the Provincial congress that met at Hillsborough, North Carolina, and in 1781 he served in the general assembly, which was held in his own house. In April, 1792, he gave to the state of North Carolina 1,000 acres of land, upon which the city of Raleigh was built.--His great-nephew, Joseph, soldier, born in Buncombe county, North Carolina, 14 December, 1801; died in Oregon, 19 April, 1881, removed with his parents to Henderson county, Kentucky, in 1804, and in 1816 he went to Warwick county, Indiana, where for several years he was a clerk in a mer-cantile house. He was elected to the legislature in 1822, continued in office till 1846, when he enlisted as a private in the 2d regiment of Indiana volunteers, was in a few weeks commissioned its colonel, and in June received from President Polk the appointment of brigadiergeneral. He was wounded at the battle of Buena Vista, was brevetted major-general for gallantry at Huamantla, commanded at Atlixco, took Matamoras, 22 November, 1847, captured Orizaba in January, 1848, and the next month fought the robber-chief Jaranta at Tchualtaplan. He was known as the " Marion of the Mexican army." At the conclusion of the war he was appointed governor of Oregon by President Polk, was its delegate to congress, being elected as a Democrat in 1851-'7, and in 1853 commanded the settlers in the campaign against the Rogue Indians, whom he defeated at the battle near Table Rock, in which he was severely wounded. On the admission of Oregon as a state he was elected United States senator, served from 1859 till 1861, and in 1860 was nominated for vice president on the John C. Breckinridge ticket. His defeat ended his political career, and he passed his old age in obscurity and poverty in a remote part of Oregon.-Joseph's son, Lafayette, congressman, born in Vanderberg county, Indiana, 12 November, 1842, was educated in Washington, D. C., and in Stamford, Connecticut, adopted law as a profession, and removed to Oregon. He was a member of the legislature in 1864, code-commissioner of Oregon in 1874, and in that year was elected to congress as a Democrat to fill a vacancy occasioned by the death of George A. La Dow, serving till 1877. He was defeated at the next congressional election, and is now (1887) engaged in the practice of law.--Another great-nephew of Joel, Henry Smith, senator, born in Montgomery county, Kentucky, 24 February, 1811; died in Crawfordsville, Indiana, 11 June, 1881, worked on a farm and attended school at intervals till he was sixteen years old. He began the study of law at eighteen, was admitted to the bar at twenty-one, and, removing to Indiana, practised his profession till 1854. He was in the legislature in 1837, and the next year was elected to congress as a Republican, serving till 1843. The defeat of Henry Clay for the presidency retired Mr. Lane from political life for sixteen years. At the first National Republican convention he made so effective a speech that, in June, 1856, he was elected permanent president of that body, and for several years he led the Republican party in the state. The election of 1858 gave the Republicans the majority of both houses of the Indiana legislature. In 1859, with the aid of the "Americans," they elected Mr. Lane to the United States senate, hoping to annul the informal election of 1858 that gave the seat to Jesse D. Bright. The case was referred to the congressional committee on elections, which reported in favor of the validity of the former election, and sustained Mr. Bright. Mr. Lane became governor of Indiana in 1860, and in February of that year was elected to the United States senate, serving till 1867. He retired from politics at the end of his term, and, except as Indian peace-commissioner under General Grant, undertook no regular public service. He was a delegate to the loyalists' convention in 1866, to the Chicago national Republican convention in 1868, and to that of Cincinnati in 1876.

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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