The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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banner, and he obtained a triumphant majority. In 1857 he was elected a Senator of the United States, which he resigned in 1862 on being appointed Military Governor of Tennessee. These were troublous and perilous times, but Governor Johnson bore himself as became a man of courage and discretion. In 1864 he was elected Vice-President, and on the death of Lincoln (April 15, 1865,) he became President of the United States. His course as President did not please the dominant party, and on February 22, 1868, the House of Representatives adopted resolutions of impeachment, founded chiefly on alleged misconduct under the tenure-of-office act. He was tried by the Senate, organized as a high court of impeachment, and acquitted. After his term as President expired he returned to his home in Tennessee, and was elected again Senator in Congress for the term commencing 1875, and sat during the extra session. He died soon after this at his residence, July 31, 1875. The verdict of the country was that he was an honest and remarkable man.

        Three brothers, Joel, Joseph and Jesse Lane, removed from the County of Halifax, on the Roanoke, more than one hundred years ago, to Wake County, (formed 1770,) then Johnston, (1746.) Colonel Joel Lane built on Hillsboro' street, in Raleigh, the residence of the late Wm. Boylan, and was one of the wealthiest and best known of these brothers. He was a member of the Provincial Council, which met at Hillsboro' August 21, 1775. The General Assembly in June, 1781, met at his house; Colonel Lane was at this time Senator from Wake, and continued to represent the County up to the date of his death in 1795. On April 4, 1792, he conveyed one thousand acres of land to the State immediately contiguous to his residence, at Wake Court House, upon which the City of Raleigh now stands.*

        * The commissioners to whom this conveyance was made were Frederick Hargett, Willie Jones, Joseph McDowell, Thomas Blount, Wm. Johnson Dawson and Jas. Martin. The place was fixed by an ordinance of the convention that met at Hillsboro' August, 1788. The corner stone of the State House was laid in December, 1792, and in December, 1794, the General Assembly met in it for the first time. It was consumed by accidental fire on June 21, 1831, and on July 4, 1833, the corner stone of the present State House was laid. The first Legislature of North Carolina met at the house of Richard Sanderson, on Little River, in Perquimans County, in 1715. Up to this time the Legislature had no local habitation.

        General Joseph Lane, Governor Henry S. Lane, Senator and Governor of Indiana, and the late George W. Lane, Judge of United States Court of Alabama, were cousins, the grandsons of Jesse and great nephews of Colonel Joel Lane.

        Joseph Lane was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, on December 14, 1801. In 1804 his father migrated to the West, and settled in Henderson County, Kentucky. Thence, in the year 1816, his son went into Warwick County, Indiana, where he became a clerk in a mercantile house, a position in which he remained some years. Having married and fixed his abode, as he then thought, for life, in Vanderburgh County, young Lane soon gained the confidence and esteem of the people, and at the election of 1822 was chosen by the voters of that County and Warwick a member of the Indiana Legislature. He was barely eligible when he took his seat, and though at that early age "a man of family," he seems, from the accounts of his contemporaries, to have presented at his entrance into public life the appearance of quite a juvenile legislator. Hon. Oliver H. Smith, for several years a United States Senator, and a political opponent of General Lane, in a work recently published, thus described his appearance at the opening of the Legislature, of which body he himself was also a new member: "The roll calling progressed as I stood by the side of the clerk. 'The County of Vanderburgh and Warwick,' said the clerk. I saw advancing a slender, freckled-faced boy, in appearance eighteen or twenty years of age. I marked his step as he came up to my side, and have often noticed his air since; it was General Lane, of Mexican and Oregon fame in after years."

        The youthful representative of Vanderburgh and Warwick was subsequently frequently re-elected by the voters of those Counties, and continued to serve them, at intervals of one or two years, in one or the other branch of the Legislature, from the year 1822 to 1846, a period of twenty-four years. To any one who knows the fidelity of General Lane to the high and responsible public trusts confided to him, it is needless to say, that as a member of the Indiana Legislature he was vigilant, active and efficient. Tenacious of the rights and zealous to promote the interests of his constituents, he was at the same time just and liberal in his views on all questions affecting the rights and interests of other portions of the State. At a time when it was thought that Indiana, over-burdened with debt, would be compelled to repudiate, he labored untiringly to save the State from this deep disgrace, and had the satisfaction at last of seeing his efforts crowned with success.
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