LANIER, JAMES F.D.
Beginning a career in banking, Lanier proved to be a brilliant banker with his State Bank of Indiana being the only bank in the country offering to pay its debt in specie during the financial panic of 1837. In 1849, with Richard Winslow he founded Winslow, Lanier & Company which was actively involved in financing virtually every important railroad from the company's founding until 1854. His company was responsible, more than any other for making New York the center of railroad finance in the country. During the Civil War, Lanier was an active supporter of the Union cause, lending the state of Indiana over $400,000 in order to equip its troops at the outbreak of the war. Again in 1862 he advanced the state $640,000 to pay the state militia. Following the war he was instrumental in convincing his European counterparts of the stability of the United States government and its bonds.