Wallace, Lew, 1827-1905

Alternative names
Birth 1827-04-10
Death 1905-02-15

Biographical notes:

Author, U.S. Army officer, and politician; b. Lewis Wallace.

From the description of Papers, 1799-1923 (bulk 1846-1906). (Indiana Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 82681337

Wallace was Governor of the Territory of New Mexico from 1878 to 1881. He also wrote the novel "Ben Hur."

From the description of Lew Wallace collection, 1882-1926. (Museum of New Mexico Library). WorldCat record id: 37434984

Lawyer, author, army officer, and diplomat. Full name: Lewis Wallace.

From the description of Lew Wallace papers, 1864-1896. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70981300

American author and army officer.

From the description of Autograph letters signed (3) : Crawfordsville, Ind., to Harper & Bros., 1898 Feb. 25-June 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586391

Author and army officer.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Crawsfordsville, to Private Dalzell, 1888 Nov. 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586386

From the description of Signature : [n.p., n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586403

From the description of Autograph letter signed : "Hd. Qrs. Med. Dept., to an unidentified general, 1864 Aug. 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586399

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Crawfordsville, Indiana, to George M. Jolly in Owensboro, Kentucky, 1888 Nov. 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586396

General Lew Wallace was born in Indiana; his father was a former governor of the state, and his maternal grandfather had been Indiana's first United States Congressman. Although his formal schooling ended at the age of sixteen, he continued to read, and studied law with his father, eventually being accepted to the bar. He joined the army during the Mexican War, and saw notable action during the Civil War, becoming the youngest Major General of his day. After the war he held several significant posts, including territorial governor of New Mexico, and Minister to Turkey; he served on the court that sentenced President Lincoln's assassins, and was appointed to preside over the court-martial of Henry Wirz for mistreatment of prisoners at Andersonville. Throughout his life, Wallace wrote for periodicals and published several novels, including Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the best-selling American novel of the 19th century.

From the description of Lew Wallace letter to Thomas Hutchinson and advertisement for Ben-Hur, 1881-1897. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 72827665

American lawyer, soldier, author, and diplomat.

From the description of Letters, 1897. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122652715

American author and Union army general.

From the description of Papers of Lew Wallace, 1863-1902, bulk 1883-1899. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 30793368

The son of Indiana governor David Wallace, Lew Wallace was an author, army officer and politician. He served in the Mexican and Civil Wars, and as a politician in the Indiana State Senate, as governor of New Mexico Territory, and as U.S. Minister to Turkey. Best remembered as an author, Wallace wrote BEN-HUR and a biography of Benjamin Harrison.

From the description of Collection, 1799-1972 (bulk 1846-1905). (Indiana Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 28718333

Lewis "Lew" Wallace (10-April 1827 to 15 February 1905) was born in Brookville, Indiana to Ester French Test Wallace and David Wallace, an attorney who became governor of Indiana in 1837. During the Mexican War, Wallace raised a volunteer company and became a second lieutenant in the 1st Indiana Infantry. Wallace was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1849. In 1856 he successfully ran for the Indiana State Senate. Wallace began his Civil War career as the adjutant general of Indiana and finished his military career as commander of the VIII Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac. His second return to civilian life ushered in additional public service, first as Territorial Governor of New Mexico from 1878 to 1881 and second as minister to Turkey from 1881 to 1885. Despite his public and military career, Wallace had little aptitude for politics, disliked the law and served the military only in times of national need. His most vital and enduring interests lay in art, music and literature. Wallace was a man of letters, first as a journalist and then as an author and biographer. Wallace is best remembered for writing The Fair God (1873), Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880), The Life of Benjamin, Harrison (1888), and Lew Wallace: An Autobiography (1906).

Eugene Allen Fiske (? to 22 August 1910) was born in Concord, New Hampshire. During the Civil War, Fiske served with a Massachusetts regiment in the Army of the Potomac. In the late 1870s, Fiske came to New Mexico to practice law. He served as United States District Attorney for New Mexico Territory from 1889 to 1893. Following his public service, Fiske returned to private practice specializing in Civil law and representation of utility companies.

From the guide to the Lew Wallace Collection, 1882-1926, (Museum of New Mexico. Fray Angélico Chávez History Library.)


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  • Stage adaptations
  • Military prisons
  • Authors, American
  • Generals--Correspondence
  • Painting
  • Mexican War, 1846-1848
  • Copyright, International
  • Voyages and travels--19th century
  • Presidents--Election--1884
  • Contested elections
  • French,
  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Generals--Biography--Sources
  • Shiloh, Battle of, Tenn., 1862
  • Diplomatic and consular service, American
  • Business records
  • American literature--19th century
  • Assassination
  • Literature--Adaptations
  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
  • Male authors, American--19th century--Correspondence
  • Presidents--Election--1876
  • Actions and defenses
  • Authors, American--Correspondence
  • Trials(assassination)
  • Authors and publishers


  • Governors--New Mexico
  • Diplomats' spouses
  • Army officers
  • Commercial agents--United States
  • Authors, American
  • Diplomats--United States
  • Diplomats
  • Lawyers
  • Soldiers--United States
  • Women authors, American
  • Authors


  • Egypt (as recorded)
  • Crawfordsville (Ind.) (as recorded)
  • Indianapolis (Ind.) (as recorded)
  • Mexico (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Florida (as recorded)
  • Indiana--Indianapolis (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Indiana (as recorded)
  • New Mexico (as recorded)
  • Egypt (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Michigan City (Ind.) (as recorded)
  • New Mexico (as recorded)
  • Ohio (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • South Carolina (as recorded)
  • Indiana (as recorded)
  • Indiana--Crawfordsville (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)
  • Tennessee (as recorded)
  • Mexico (as recorded)
  • Turkey (as recorded)
  • Cincinnati (Ohio) (as recorded)
  • Crawfordsville (Ind.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Louisiana (as recorded)
  • Georgia (as recorded)
  • Turkey (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Michigan City (Ind.) (as recorded)