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Gaines, John P.

Born: 1795-09-22 Augusta, West Virginia

Died: 1857-12-09 Marion County, Oregon

John P. Gaines relocated to Boone County, Kentucky in early youth, where he received a thorough English education. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and started a law practice in Walton, Kentucky. He served in the War of 1812 and, afterward, in the Kentucky General Assembly. Gaines returned to military service, this time as a major, during the Mexican War, but was captured in January 1847. While incarcerated in Mexico City, Kentuckians elected him to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Whig, where he served for one term. In 1850, President Zachary Taylor appointed Gaines governor of the Oregon Territory, and he served in that office until his term expired in 1853. Gaines remained in Oregon and died near Salem in 1857.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1068.