Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Hahn, Michael

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HAHN, Michael, politician, b. in Bavaria, 24 Nov., 1830; d. in Washington, D. C., 15 March, 1886. While he was an infant his parents removed to New York, and a few years later to New Orleans. He was graduated at the high-school of that city, and in the law department of the University of Louisiana in 1854. When twenty-two years of age he was elected school-director, served for several years, and at one time was president of the board. He was antagonistic to the Slidell wing of the Democratic party, opposed Mr. Buchanan for president in 1856, was a strong Douglas advocate, and a vehement anti-slavery agitator. In 1860-'1 he was a member of the committee that canvassed the state against secession, and he personally exerted all his influence to prevent disunion. Mr. Hahn's opponents charged that in 1861, with all public, state, and parish officers, he took the oath of allegiance to the Confederate government; but the official records show that he renewed his oath of office as notary, but omitted the oath of allegiance, and no public notice was taken of the omission. On the arrival of Admiral Farragut's fleet in New Orleans, 25 April, 1862, Mr. Hahn took the oath of allegiance to the United States, and represented the 2d congressional district of Louisiana in congress as a Republican, from 17 Feb. to 3 March, 1863. At the end of his term he returned to New Orleans, advocated the reopening of the Federal courts, and bought and edited the “New Orleans True Delta,” in which he advocated emancipation. In March, 1864, he was inaugurated governor of Louisiana. He possessed the full confidence of Mr. Lincoln, who wrote him a letter advising that the elective franchise be extended to the negro race, and granting him the additional powers of military governor. In 1865 he was chosen U. S. senator, but did not press his claim to his seat. In July, 1866, while present at the Mechanics' institute in New Orleans during the riot of that month, he was severely wounded. Mr. Hahn became the editor of the “New Orleans Republican” in 1867, and four years later removed to his sugar-plantation in St. Charles parish, where he built the village of Hahnville. He was a member of the legislature from 1872 till 1876, and in 1879 was elected district judge, which office he resigned in 1885, on his election to congress, where he was the only Republican member from his state.