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  Name:  Joseph Lane
  Born:  December 14, 1801
  Died:  April 19, 1881

  Complete HarpWeek Biography:

Lane, Joseph (December 14, 1801 – April 19, 1881)

Joseph Lane was a senator from Oregon and the vice–presidential nominee of the southern wing of the Democratic Party in 1860. 

He was born on December 14, 1801, in Buncombe County, North Carolina, to Elizabeth Street Lane and John Lane.  In 1810, the Lane family moved to Henderson, Kentucky, where young Joseph was educated in the common schools and worked in a general store.  In 1821 he moved to Indiana to farm, and was elected the next year to the lower house of the state legislature.  He was reelected to several terms before winning a seat in the upper house in 1844.  He served a brigade commander in the Mexican War, and was brevetted a major general in 1847.  President James Polk appointed him as territorial governor of Oregon (1849–1850).  He then won the first of four elections as the territory’s congressional delegate (1851–1859), and was elected in 1859 as a Democrat to be one the new state’s first U.S. senators.  When the Democratic Party split over the issue of slavery expansion in 1860, the National (or Southern) Democrats nominated Lane as the vice–presidential running mate of presidential nominee John C. Breckinridge.  After their defeat, Lane retired from public life.  He died in Oregon on April 19, 1881.


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