Tuesday, December 21, 2010
James Henry Lane
Birth: Jun. 22, 1814, Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
Death: Jul. 11, 1866.
Burial: Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas.
American soldier and politician. Born in Lawrenceburg Indiana to Amos Lane, Lawyer and Democratic representative to Congress. James received a common school education and studied law in his fathers office and in 1840 was admitted to the bar. In the Mexican War he served as a Colonel in the 5th Indiana Regiment, which he raised. Lane was elected Lieutenant Governor of Indiana from 1849 to 1853, and from 1853 to 1855 was elected a Democratic member of Congress from Indiana.
He emigrated to Kansas in 1855 and became 2nd in command of forces at Lawrence during the "Wakarusa War". In 1856 was elected to the U.S. Senate under the Topeka Constitution, the validity of which Congress refused to recognize. He was indicted for treason and left Kansas for a while returning in August 1856. After Kansas was admitted to the Union in 1861 Lane was elected Senator and left for Washington. Arriving in the capital, Lane immediately raised a company to guard President Lincoln. After the war sided with President Andrew Johnson against the Radical Republicans making powerful enemies and was soon accused of being involved in fraudulent Indian contracts. Severely depressed while defending himself and in fragile mental health, he shot himself to death in 1866
Photograph of an illustration of James Henry Lane "shouting defiance into the convention's ears and the battery's muzzles at Constitution Hall," Lecompton, Kansas Territory. The illustration is copied from Life of General James H. Lane by John I. Speer.
on July 1, 1866 he shot himself in the head as he leapt from his carriage in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was allegedly deranged, depressed, had been charged with abandoning his fellow Radical Republicans and had been accused of financial irregularities. He died ten days later near Leavenworth, Kansas, a result of the self-inflicted gunshot.