Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Lane, J. mss., 1835-1906, consist of correspondence and papers of Joseph Lane, 1801-1881, first territorial governor of Oregon.

Career: born, December 14, 1801, Buncombe County, North Carolina; family moved to Henderson, Kentucky, 1804; Joseph Lane moved to Vanderburgh County, Indiana, 1820 or 1821; member of Indiana legislature (House, 1822-1823, 1831-1833, 1838-1839; Senate, 1844-1846); served in Mexican War, June 25, 1846-July 20, 1848, being discharged as a Major General; commissioned Governor of Oregon Territory, August 18, 1848; arrived in Oregon, March 2, 1849; resigned as Governor, June 18, 1850; delegate in Congress from Oregon Territory, March 4, 1851-February 14, 1859; U.S. senator from Oregon, February 14, 1859-March 3, 1861; democratic candidate for Vice- president of U.S. on Breckenridge ticket, 1860; died, Roseburg, Oregon, April 19, 1881.

This collection consists principally of political, military, and personal correspondence and papers of Joseph Lane for the period of his Mexican War service, his terms as Governor of Oregon Territory, delegate from Oregon to Congress, and U.S. senator, and for the presidential campaign of 1860. The collection contains few manuscripts before 1847. Some of the Mexican War papers and almost all of the letters and papers following Lane's death in 1881 belong to La Fayette Mosher, 1824-1890, son-in-law of Joseph Lane, who served in the 4th Ohio Volunteers in the Mexican War and migrated to Oregon in 1853, where he served as a member of the state Senate, 1870-1872, and as a justice of the Supreme Court, 1872-1874.

The collection deals largely with Oregon affairs: politics, admission of Oregon as a state, appointments, Indian hostilities and treaties, war claims and pensions, postal service, military and other roads, river and stage coach transportation, land titles, the lumber trade, gold mining, education, and immigration to Oregon. There is also material on overland travel and proposed railroads to the West coast.

In addition to the manuscripts which are primarily of Oregon interest the collection contains letters and papers of national significance relating to politics; the elections of 1856 and 1860; the Democratic national convention at Charleston and Baltimore, 1860; secession and the Civil War.

For states other than Oregon there is correspondence on politics in California, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington; on the state elections of 1856 in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Washington; and on the Democratic state conventions in New Hampshire in 1856 and in Indiana in 1860. There is also material on Indians in California, Texas, and Washington.

Among the papers in the collection are a letter copybook of Joseph Lane, 1858-1859; his diary, 1867; a diary attributed to La Fayette Mosher, 1886; an account of the Battle of Buena Vista by Alexander F. Morrison, 1847; a record of applications for bounty land warrants and a list of citizens of Oregon, 1857-1859; and minutes and articles of incorporation of the Roseburg and Port Orford Railroad Company, 1873-1875. Included also is an undated Joseph Lane banner as a candidate for election to Congress; a daguerreotype and seven photographs of Joseph Lane; and photographs of Lane's daughters, his son, John, his son-in- law, La Fayette Mosher, Jefferson Davis, John Letcher, William Lowndes Yancey, Astoria, Oregon, and Roseburg, Oregon.

The first box contains a folder of biographical material on Lane and a copy of a paper entitled "The Joseph Lane papers in the Robert S. Ellison Collection" by Oscar Osburn Winther of the Indiana University Department of History, which was read by him before the Pacific Coast branch of the American History Association on December 29, 1948. This paper has been published in revised form in The Indiana University Bookman, no. 1, January 1956, pp. 16-26.

Correspondents represented in this collection include: Benjamin Abbott, George Abernethy, John Adair, John Commingers Ainsworth, Bradford Ripley Alden, James Alden, Benjamin Alvord, George H. Ambrose, James Patton Anderson, Jesse Applegate, Lindsay Applegate, John Appleton, Ambrose N. Armstrong, Chester Alan Arthur, William Henry Aspinwall, A. D. Babcock, Ira Leonard Babcock, Alexander Dallas Bache, William J. Bailey, Robert Baldwin, Hubert Howe Bancroft, Forbes Barclay, James Henderson Berry, Finley Bigger, Joseph Jenkins Bingham, Francis Norbet Blanchet, Reuben Patrick Boise, John D. Boon, Albert Gallatin Brackett, William Wilshire Bristow, John Ross Browne, William Perkins Bryant, James Buchanan, Benjamin Franklin Burch, Asahel Bush, Ira F. M. Butler, John Cain, La Fayette Cartee, Stephen Fowler Chadwick, William Williams Chapman, John Francis Hamtramck Claiborne, Howell Cobb, Nathaniel Coe, Stephen Coffin, George Edward Cole, Felix A. Collard, Clark P. Crandall, John T. Crooks, Samuel H. Culver, George Law Curry, Caleb Cushing, F. Dainese, William L. Dall, Anson Dart, Timothy Woodbridge Davenport, Jefferson Davis, Matthew Paul Deady, A. P. Dennison, James William Denver, George Horatio Derby, John Adams Dix, Joseph Norton Dolph, Stephen Arnold Douglas, Benjamin Franklin Dowell, C. S. Drew, Joseph W. Drew, Mrs. Amanda Louisa (Ruter) Dufour, Robert W. Dunbar, Isaac Dunn, Myron Eells, Stukely Ellsworth, William Hayden English, Elwood Evans, John Evans, William H. Farrar, John Farrell, Graham Newell Fitch, John Fleming, A. B. Florance, Thomas Birch Florence, Philip Foster, William Worthington Fowler, Charles J. Fox, John Pollard Gaines, Selucius Garfielde, Samuel B. Garrett, Nathaniel H. Gates, Edward Rachford Geary, John White Geary, Joseph Cary Geer, Addison Crandall Gibbs, Horatio Gates Gibson, Preston Wilson Gillette, James Lisle Gillis, James Pleasant Goodall, Willima Henry Gray, La Fayette Grover, James Guthrie, James Guthrie, Jr., William McKendree Gwin, O. T. Hall, Willard Preble Hall, Benjamin Franklin Hallett, Edward Hamilton, William Thomas Hamilton, Edward Allen Hannegan, Benjamin Franklin Harding, R. Harrison, James Haworth, Alexander Hays, Abaslom F. Hedges, Thomas Andrews Hendricks, Thomas Jefferson Henley, Anson G. Henry, Joseph Henry, Binger Hermann, Ethelbert C. Hibben, George Henry Himes, Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Amory Holbrook, James Duval Holman, Joseph Holt, Joseph Hooker, A. G. Hovey, Noah Huber, James Hughes, William M. Hughes, David C. Ingalls, Rufus Ingalls, Charles Jaren Ingersoll, Berryman Jennings, Thomas Sidney Jesup, J. Neely Johnson, Joseph Joset, August Valentine Kautz, James Kerr Kelly, John Kelsay, William M. King, Robert Crouch Kinney, Henry M. Knighton, William Sargent Ladd, John K. Lamerick, Edward Lander, La Fayette Lane, Simon R. Lane, Milton Slocum Latham, John Law, Alonzo Leland, John Letcher, Asa Lawrence Lovejoy, Daniel H. Lownsdale, Nathaniel Lyon, Lewis Linn McArthur, John Rogers McBride, Morton Matthew McCarver, John Burch McClane, John McClure, John McCracken, Ben McCulloch, Daniel Mace, William Brown Maclay, John McLoughlin, Dennis Hart Mahan, Joseph King Fenno Mansfield, George W. Manypenny, William Learned Marcy, Perry B. Marple, William Jennings Martin, Henry May, William Medill, William Mervine, Robert B. Metcalfe, John F. Miller, John Hipple Mitchell, R. B. Morford, Alexander F. Morrison, La Fayetter Mosher, John Mullan, James Willis Nesmith, William Ellis Niblack, T. Aloysius Nicholson, Anthony Noltner, Cornelius O'Brien, Cyrus Olney, James O'Meara, Edward Otho Cresap Ord, Robert Dale Owen, William Henderson Packwood, William Wilmer Page, Joel Palmer, Andrew W. Patterson, John C. Peebles, George Hunt Pendleton, Sylvester Pennoyer, Abel C. Pepper, John Pettit, Franklin Pierce, Albert Pike, John Pitcher, Truman P. Powers, Orville Charles Pratt, Gabriel James Rains, John H. Reed, Dillard Ricketts, Aaron Rose, William Starke Rosecrans, John E. Ross, Thomas Fletcher Royall, Frederick Schmidt, Felix Scott, John Tucker Scott, Eugene Semple, Edward Sheil, George Knox Scheil, Philip Henry Sheridan, Alonzo A. Skinner, James Harvey Slater, Joseph Sloan, Andrew Jackson Smith, Delazon Smith, Isaac William Smith, Thomas L. Smith, Benjamin Stark, Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Lansing Stout, Riley Evans Stratton, James Clark Strong, David Lowry Swain, James Gilchrist Swan, John M. Talbot, Washington Houston Talbott, George Taylor, Joseph Nathan Teal, Chester N. Terry, David Thompson, Robert Thompson, Samuel Royal Thurston, William Tichenor, Isaac Toucey, Edward Davis Townsend, William Green T'Vault, James H. Twogood, George W. Vaughn, Abraham Watkins Venable, Mrs. Frances Auretta (Fuller) Victor, Aaron E. Wait, Courtney M. Walker, John T. Walker, Robert James Walker, Alvin F. Waller, John Orvis Waterman, Frederick Waymire, John Sullivan Wells, John Wheeler, John Whiteaker, Perrin Beza Whitman, Elisha Whittlesey, William Watson Wick, Ralph Wilcox, George Henry Williams, Joseph Lanier Williams, John Ellis Wool, Goerge Wright, Joseph Albert Wright, William Lowndes Yancey, David Levey Yulee, John S. Zieber.

Some of the manuscripts in this collection are in an oversize folder.

For other publications see James E. Hendrickson, Joe Lane of Oregon; machine politics and the sectional crisis, 1849- 1861, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1967 (E415.9 .L2 H4). The Joseph Lane manuscripts used in this book are cited as "Lane Papers (Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington; microfilm in University of Oregon, Eugene), cited hereafter as Lane Papers, InU" on page 2.

Herman J. Viola, "Zachary Taylor and the Indiana volunteers," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 72: No. 3 (January 1969), pp. 335-346.

Collection size: 3,248 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.