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James Henry Lane Papers

Call Number: RH MS 28


The collection includes correspondence, notes and source material, clippings, maps, photographs, documents, and other related items, dating primarily from 1841-1923.


  • Creation: 1841 - 1923


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Lane, James Henry

James Henry Lane (1814-1866) was a noted military and political leader of Kansas. He was active in his home state of Indiana, serving as a military commander in the Mexican War (1841) and later as Indiana's Lieutenant Governor from 1849-1853. Lane then entered national politics as a Democratic Congressman from Indiana and served one term (1853-1855).

The Free State Movement lured Lane to the Kansas Territory in April of 1855. He became an active leader in the Topeka Movement. In June of 1858, Lane's political career was suspended because of his land dispute with Gaius Jenkins, whom Lane killed; Lane temporarily retired from politics.

In 1861, the people of the newly-formed State of Kansas elected Lane as their first U.S. Senator. Upon arriving in Washington, he found the city in great fear of the advancing Southern forces. Lane quickly organized a Kansas "Frontier Guard," which bivouacked temporarily in the White House and won the respect of President Lincoln. Over the years, Lane maintained a close friendship with the President and became one of his most respected confidants. In 1863, Lane recruited, under the President's command, a regiment of black soldiers to guard the Kansas borders.

Senator James Henry Lane died on July 11, 1866, from self-inflicted wounds received ten days earlier.


1 linear foot (2 boxes + 1 folder, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The University of Kansas began to actively collect James H. Lane material in 1942. The manuscript materials include correspondence, notes and source material, clippings, maps, photographs, documents and miscellaneous items, dating primarily from 1841-1923.

Special references are made to the discharge of L. Holtslander, one of the members of Lincoln's "Frontier Guards" who was discharged in the basement of the White House; the work done about Lane by William E. Connelley from the Kansas State Historical Society; and accounts and legal documents concerning the land dispute between Lane and Gaius Jenkins.

Physical Location

RH MS 28

Physical Location

RH MS-P 28

Physical Location

RH MS Q398

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchases, 1942-1969; gift, 2015.

Related Materials

Newspaper clippings available at James Henry Lane Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS E85, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Guide to the James Henry Lane Collection
James Henry Lane Papers
lgg 10/72; msb 04/15
2004; 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
James Henry Lane Collection, RH MS 28, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States