Columbia Lancaster

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Columbia Lancaster
6th Judge of the Provisional Government of Oregon
In office
Appointed by George Abernethy
Preceded by J. Quinn Thornton
Succeeded by Government dissolved
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington Territory's at-large district
In office
April 12, 1854 – March 3, 1855
Preceded by position created
Succeeded by James Patton Anderson
Personal details
Born August 26, 1803
New Milford, Connecticut
Died September 15, 1893(1893-09-15) (aged 90)
Vancouver, Washington

Columbia Lancaster (August 26, 1803 – September 15, 1893) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the first Delegate from the Territory of Washington to the United States House of Representatives.

Early life[edit]

Born in New Milford, Connecticut, Lancaster moved with his family to Canfield, Ohio, in 1817. There he attended the common schools before he moved to Detroit, Michigan Territory, in 1824. In Michigan he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1830 and commenced practice in Centerville, Michigan.


He was appointed prosecuting attorney of Michigan Territory by Governor Lewis Cass. He served as member of the Michigan Territorial Legislature in 1837. He settled in the Willamette Valley, in Oregon Country, in 1847. He served as supreme judge of the Provisional Government of Oregon from 1847 to the end of that government in 1849.[1] He took up his residence near the mouth of the Lewis River, Oregon Territory (present-day State of Washington). He was an unsuccessful candidate for Delegate to the Thirty-first Congress from Oregon before the separation of the Territories of Washington and Oregon.

He served as member of the Territorial council of Oregon 1850–1852. When the Territory of Washington was admitted to representation, he was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third Congress and served from April 12, 1854, until March 3, 1855. He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination.

Later life[edit]

Lancaster was regent of the University of Washington in Seattle in 1862. He was also connected with the Puget Sound & Columbia River Railroad project in 1862. He died in Vancouver, Washington, September 15, 1893, and was interred in the City Cemetery. Lancaster Lake, just north of Ridgefield, Washington, is named in his honor.[2]


  1. ^ Oregon SOS: Supreme Court Judges
  2. ^ Jolotta, Pat. Naming Clark County. Vancouver: Fort Vancouver Historical Society, 1993. p.33.

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.