Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Page 5& 6

General Joseph Lane

The people had elected as one of its prospective U.S. Senators, General Joseph Lane, who was then the Delegate from that Territory and had been for eight years previous in Congress. He had also been Oregon’s first Governor and as such he there unfurled to the breeze for the first time by authority of the Nation, the flag of our country over all that vast domain west of the Spanish-Mexican line.

In the Mexican war he was one of our great generals and achieved lasting fame on its battlefield’s. Upon the admission of Oregon as a state he became a candidate for vice-president with John C. Breckenridge as President on the Democratic ticket. He belonged to the old school style of gentlemen, with all that courtliness, dignity, and benevolence in his bearing, which so much become those of the olden time. His name among the early settlers of Oregon was a talisman. Whether laboring in the mines with pick and shovel or at the head of the Volunteer Soldiers in meeting the Indian foe, or in his office as Governor, or as Senator, he was at the all times the obliging, courteous and approachable man.

Upon his retirement from public life he sought the quiet pastoral scenes of the mountains and engaged in the care and supervision of his flocks. As the years come on, he returned to his original Donation Land Claim near Roseburg, and then toward the close of life, resided in the town in the midst of his children, then all grown to manhood and womanhood. There he peacefully and painlessly passed away to the Great Beyond. Upon the threshold of the open grave to receive him, there was unfolded the Stars and Stripes, the same flag he had borne to the battlefield, and there, too, stood about many of the old gray heads who were his companions in his public life and pioneer days, and some his comrades in the wars; and there, too, one of the most honored men of the state, also venerable in years, delivered over the casket an eloquent oration in eulogy of the distinguished dead. He had reached the age of eighty years. On his tomb I the Masonic Cemetery near Roseburg there is engraved these words; “In memory of General Joseph Lane, Born December 14, 1801. Died April 9, 1881.” This brevity was at his own suggestion.

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