Life Of POLLY Hart LANE
Hello, my name is POLLY Pierce (Pierre) Hart LANE. I was born 1802 in KY. In 1814 in the early morning, which I beleive was in Ohio Co, now Davies Co., KY, I woke up to seeing my stepfather, mother and two of my siblings killed in an Indian Massacre. For some reason they didn't see me. I grabbed my quilt climbed out the back window of our cabin, and ran down to the bank of the Ohio River and jumped into a canoe and floated down the river. I looked back once and saw the cabin go up in flames. My older brother escaped or was taken by the Indians, I never found out what happened to him. A couple of days later I was found on the banks of Henderson Co., KY by a Nathaniel HART, son of John HART and Patience LANE. I was 12 years old at the time, when the HART'S took me in and raised me.
The HART'S lived next to John and Elizabeth STREET LANE, parents to General Joseph LANE, who later became my second husband and 1st Territorial Gov. , 1st Senator of Oregon, delegate to Congress, fought in the Mexican American and Rogue River Indian Wars, and ran for Vice President of the United States on the Breckinridge Ticket. Of course as you know, Abraham Lincoln became President that year.
About 3 years later, 1817, I married Nathaniel HART and we had a son in Feb. 1818 and named him Nathaniel Hart Jr. Shortly after our son was born my husband died, for he was caught out in the bad weather. By this time the LANE'S had moved to Vandenburgh Co., Ind. As soon as they got word, Joseph Lane came down to visit. He told me right then and there, he would never leave me again. One thing you need to understand, the first time Joseph met me back in 1814, he knew that one day I would be his wife.
The hardest thing I ever had to do, was to give my son up. My husbands sister, known as Jeanie, wanted our son to raise. For she said to me, we have given you everything, a place to live, food, shelter.. now my brother is dead, and now you have taken Joseph, what else do I have? So I gave Nathaniel HART Jr. to Jeanie and the HART'S to raise.
On 21 June 1820 I married Joseph Lane in Vandenburgh Co., Ind. We had 10 children of our own. We lived there until 1850 till we made the treck out to Oregon. During those years before we came to Oregon, I was left at home to raise the children by myself, for Joseph was either at Washington DC as delegate to congress, or fighting in the Mexican WAR. When Joseph was in the Mexican WAR he would send money home which I would take a sew in one of his shirts, so when he returned he would have some money. I never spent any of it.
It was really tough times, I couldn't keep the all the children in school for I needed them at home to help me with the younger children, plus we didn't have the money to keep them in school. (Since the boys were still pretty young, they couldn't help much the heavy labor, so I worked out in the fields, all day long. If Joseph knew I was getting my hands dirty he would be upset, to say the least. I never did tell him, how much we struggled.) However most of our Children did learn to read and write, which I never got a chance to learn. My mother had promised me she would teach me after the summer was over, back in 1814, but then she was killed. So needless to say, my children had to read to me all the letters Joseph wrote, and if I wanted to write him, one of the children had to write the letter for me. I could never tell my husband any personal messages, or lean on him during those tough times, so I just kept it all bottled up inside.
When the Mexican War ended, I thought I would have Joseph home at last.. but then Pres. POLK assigned him as the First Territorial Gov. of Oregon, so he left right away, which was in 1848. Later he came back and we all moved to the beautiful country of Oregon. Joseph did not want us to travel by wagon, so we went down to New Orleans by River, and came around the horn and up the coast line to Oregon.
Joseph had started a business on the Willamette River, near Oregon City, but when we arrived it had been all washed out by the river. So we ended up finding land down in Roseburg, Douglas Co., Oregon. We received a Donation Land Claim, Joseph received 320 Acres and I received 320 acres, total of 640. And each of our married children also received land.
About 1858, a wagon pulled up to our place, and out comes a young man who looked just like John HART, I couldn't believe it. This young man said, no mam I am Nathaniel Joseph HART, I have come to find Joseph LANE. I just stood there in shock, here was standing before my very eyes, my first son Nathaniel HART. He introduced me to his wife Martha and two children Joseph and Jeanie. One son was named after Joseph LANE and the daughter named after Nathaniel's Aunt Jeanie who raise him. After talking with Nathaniel, I found out that Joseph had been taking care of Nathaniel all these years, making sure that Jeanie had enough money to raise him, and that he got an education. Joseph never told me. I never knew what ever happen to my son, and here he was right before my very eyes. I could not and never did tell him I was his mother for he was told his mother had died, when he was very young. Martha, Nathaniel's wife was pregnant, in a few months they had another daughter and they named her POLLY, after me.
Later in life on one of Joseph's trips he was shot in the right shoulder. The Jesse APPLEGATE family took him in and nursed him back to health. Jesse and Joseph would stay up many a night and talk of Politics. They did not always agree... There was a tension between the LANE and APPLEGATE families quit often. There was one last time that Joseph was supposesively accidentally shot, and Charles DRAIN and family took Joseph in and took care of him. The whole area was out to get Joseph, for when he ran for Vice President, it appeared he favored the SOUTH, which was not looked on to highly at this time, which was right before the Civil WAR.
People would kill him and tried, so we had to have men guard Charles DRAIN'S house round the clock, till folks settled down.
After Joseph healed, we took him to our son's property on Strawberry Hill, where I remained until my death. I died in Aug. 1870, and Joseph died in 1881. I was buried up on Strawberry Hill, in Roseburg, Or. After Joseph's death, they moved me to be buried in a tomb next to Joseph.
If any of you have any leads or suggestions for me or my great great great granddaughter Heather on my family please let us know!
The above Biography was written by Heather W. Bowers.
Drop my 3 great granddaughter a line at: Heather W. Bowers Lanehunter@aol.com