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Michael Hahn 1864-1865

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Born: November 24, 1830
Political Affiliation: Republican (Unionist)
Religious Affiliation: Episcopilian
Education: New Orleans public schools; University of Louisiana (Tulane)
Career Prior to Term: Lawyer; Editor; Congressman
How He Became Governor: Won the election of 1864 in Federal occupied Louisiana
Career after Term: State Representative; Speaker of the State House of Representatives; Federal Judge
Died: March 15, 1886 in Washington, DC of a ruptured blood vessel near the heart; buried in Metairie, Louisiana

Michael Hahn, born in Bavaria, but orphaned and educated in Orleans Parish, opposed secession, avoided swearing loyalty to the Confederacy and collaborated with the Federal occupation forces in New Orleans.

Union Department of the Gulf Commander Nathaniel Banks successor to the infamous Ben Butler, called the state elections of 1864 to begin the process of Reconstruction. Hahn, elected as Civil Governor, received miliary powers from Lincoln. This authority was ignored by Banks' replacement Major General Stephen A. Hurlbut, who refused to honor Hahn's appointments. Hahn resigned in March 1865 to take a U. S. Senate seat but it was withheld from him after Lincoln's assassination when the Radical Congress refused to seat Congressmen and Senators from the South.

During Hahn's brief term, he worked with the legislature to abolish slavery and prepare for the enfranchisement of blacks and for their education through a statewide school system.

Hahn founded the village of Hahnville near his plantation in St. Charles Parish. He later served in the legislature and won election to Congress. He died in Washington, of a ruptured blood vessel, in 1886 before completing his first term. He is buried in Metairie.  

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