Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ John Pollard Gaines ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
John Pollard Gaines
LAST NAME: Gaines FIRST NAME: John MIDDLE NAME: Pollard NICKNAME: 
MAIDEN NAME:  AKA 1:  AKA 2:  AKA 3: 
TITLE: Major & Governor GENDER: M MILITARY: War of 1812, Mexican War
BORN: 22 Sep 1795 DIED: 9 Dec 1857 BURIED: Dec 1857
ETHNICITY:   OCCUPATION:  Legislator, KY; Territorial Governor, Oregon
BIRTH PLACE:  Augusta Co., Virginia
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
NOTES: 
Oregon Territorial Governor 1850-53. 
A former member of Congress from Kentucky, Gaines was appointed the second territorial governor of Oregon (1850-53) by President Taylor after Abraham Lincoln refused the offered appointment. As a Whig in a predominantly Democratic state, Gaines was soon involved in controversy and subjected to political attack. His out-of-state background and nine-month-long voyage to Oregon to take up his duties also caused resentment. The opposition to Gaines helped bring about the formal organization of the Democratic Party in Oregon in 1852. It was during Gaines'administration that controversy erupted over the location of the territorial capital, with the governor claiming Oregon City was the rightful capital while the Democratic legislature, aided by a friendly minority decision by Judge Orville Pratt, went to Salem. Thus, for a time, the governor and two Supreme Court judges sat at Oregon City, while the legislature and one judge sat at Salem. The U.S. attorney general agreed with Gaines' and the court majority's interpretation of the law, but Oregon's delegate to Congress, Democrat Joseph Lane, persuaded Congress to establish Salem as the capital, Gaines thus winning the battle but losing the war. During Gaines' administration a series of Indian wars broke out and a survey for roads was extended. After he was succeeded as governor by Lane, Gaines remained in the Salem area as a farmer and imported pedigreed Durham cattle into the state. 
Capitol Names, p. 84
 See also: salemhistory.net
OBITUARY: 
At his residence in Marion County, on Wednesday morning December 9th at 6 o’clock a.m., Ex-Governor John P. Gaines, aged 62 years. 
Governor Gaines was born in Augusta, Virginia in September 1795; emigrated to Boone County, Kentucky in early youth. The decedent volunteered in the service of the United States in the war of 1812; was in the Battle of the Thames, and several other engagements during the war. He represented Boone County for several years in the legislature of Kentucky; was subsequently elected to congress for the 10th District in that state; was in Congress during the session of 1847-48 and 1848-49. Governor Gaines was elected major of the Kentucky Cavalry and served through the Mexican War; was in several engagements; was taken prisoner and confined for several months at the City of Mexico. After he had withdrawn his parole of honor he escaped and rejoined his comrades in arms and served through the war. Upon his return from Mexico President Taylor appointed him Governor of Oregon in 1849. Governor Gaines arrived in the summer of 1850 and discharged his duties of governor for the full term for which he was appointed with credit to himself and satisfaction to the people. 
The decedent maintained his mental faculties to the last moment of life, and died as he lived, respected by all who knew him. Peace to his ashes and a crown of immortality to his brow. 
Weekly Oregonian, 19 December 1857, 2:8 

DIED- In this county, on the 9th inst., of typhoid fever, John P. Gaines, aged about 62. 
Oregon Statesman 15 December 1857
INSCRIPTION: 
Let me go for the day breaketh 
John Pollard Gaines
Born in Virginia Sept. 22, 1795
Served in the war of 1812
Major of Kentucky Cavalry, in Mexican war 1846
Member of Congress from Kentucky, 1847 to 1849 
Governor of Oregon, from Nov. 1849 until May, 1853 
Died Dec. 9, 1857 Aged 62 yrs. 
An ardent patriot, a kind and indulgent Husband and Father. 
In every relation and station in life an honest man
SOURCES: 
DAR pg 28 
WOreg 19 Dec 1857 2:8. 
CN, p. 84 
WOS 15 December 1857
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