Henry Smith Lane (American National Biography)

Scholarship
Philip R. VanderMeer, "Lane, Henry Smith," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00611.html.
Although not an officeholder during the 1850s, Lane's forceful stump speaking and moderate views had made him a major Whig leader in Indiana, and he powerfully affected the creation and success of the Republican party. Although he favored liquor prohibition and a citizenship requirement for voting, Lane was primarily concerned with the interrelated national issues of slavery, economic development, and territories. Thus, he spurned the American (or Know Nothing) party, and he was a leader at the 13 July 1854 meeting that started the People's party. Lane's prominence grew in 1856 when he chaired both the state and national Republican conventions. Although his rough, emotional style did not impress certain easterners at the national convention, he articulated a clear moderate position on slavery, strongly opposing the extension of slavery into the territories, while vigorously rejecting the label of abolitionist.
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