July 15, 2011
John Selden Roane was a lawyer, planter, and soldier who became governor of Arkansas. He is best known for his service in the Mexican War and his efforts to deal with the state’s financial crisis following the failure of its banking system. As governor, Roane supported internal improvements, the establishment of a state college (though he was hostile to publicly supported common school education), and the recruitment of immigrants to Arkansas. On national issues, Roane sympathized with the Southern radicals, believing that the states were sovereign bodies, that slaves were property, that Congress had no right to restrict the taking of such property into the territories, and that any state had the right to leave the Union.