Wallace, Elizabeth, 1865-1960

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Elizabeth Wallace was born in 1865. She attended Wellesley College, graduating in 1886. In 1892, she began two years as a fellow at the University of Chicago.

Wallace began her academic career as Dean of Women and instructor in Spanish at Knox College from 1894 to 1896. After studying in France for a year she became an instructor in French literature at the University of Chicago. In 1923, Wallace became Professor of French literature at the University. She was also a dean in the colleges, from 1905 to 1913, and again from 1923 to 1926.

Wallace's published works include: A Garden of Paris (1911), Mark Twain and the Happy Island (1914), Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1944), and The Unending Journey (1952).

Wallace received the Legion of Honor from the French government in 1946 for her relief work in both World Wars. During World War I she served with the Red Cross in France, and during World War II she was head of the Minnesota branch of American Relief for France.

Elizabeth Wallace died in 1960.

From the guide to the Wallace, Elizabeth. Papers, 1913-1955, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Elizabeth Wallace was born in Bogotá, Colombia, where her father, Thomas Freeman Wallace, was a missionary in charge of a chapel, a school, and for a time the embassy of the United States. However, she, together with her three brothers, James, William, and Thomas, Jr., was repatriated by her mother, who took the children to Pennsylvania. She was enrolled in a female seminary, and graduated from Wellesley College in 1886.

After graduation from Wellesley, Elizabeth re-joined her mother and brothers, who had moved to Minneapolis. For awhile Elizabeth taught at the Judson Institute and then began graduate work in history under Harry Pratt Judson at the University of Minnesota. Shortly thereafter she applied for a Rockefeller fellowship and entered the University of Chicago as a Fellow in History in the fall of 1892. Elizabeth Wallace remained at the University of Chicago until 1927. She traveled and studied extensively in France and from 1899 until 1905 she was an instructor in French literature, then an assistant professor, and finally a full professor in 1923--the first woman to attain this rank at the University of Chicago. She was twice a dean in the colleges of Arts, Literature, and Sciences (1905-1913; 1923-1926) and was supervisor of Foster Hall at the time of her resignation in 1927.

After leaving the University of Chicago, Elizabeth Wallace returned to Minneapolis to live with her two bachelor brothers, James and Thomas (retired president of the Farmers and Mechanics Savings Bank), at 124 Groveland Terrace and launched into a busy schedule of traveling, lecturing, writing, clubbing, and visiting with friends.

During the Second World War Elizabeth Wallace responded to a French crisis and was a state leader in American relief work for France. For this contribution, and for her valuable services to France during World War II, she was awarded membership in the French Legion of Honor in 1946. She also received honorary degrees from Carleton College in 1949 and from Macalester College in 1952, as well as acclaim for her autobiography, The Unending Journey. She died on April 10, 1960, shortly before her ninety-fifth birthday.

From the guide to the Elizabeth Wallace papers., 1870-1961, [ca. 1999]., (Minnesota Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Wallace, Elizabeth, 1865-1960. Elizabeth Wallace papers, 1870-1961, [ca. 1999]. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf Wallace, Elizabeth, 1865-1960. Papers, 1950-1955. University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Elizabeth Wallace papers., 1870-1961, [ca. 1999]. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Wallace, Elizabeth. Papers, 1913-1955 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Ryerson, Caroline Hutchinson. A pageant of Carissma : manuscript, 1909. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Horace Elisha Scudder correspondence Houghton Library
referencedIn Ryerson, Caroline Hutchinson. Papers, 1909 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Ryerson, Caroline Hutchinson. A pageant of Carissma : manuscript, 1909. Texas Christian University
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Kenny, Elizabeth, 1886-1952. person
associatedWith Knox College (Galesburg, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Morel-Fatio, Alfred, 1850-1924. person
associatedWith Paris, Bruno Paulin Gaston, 1839-1903. person
associatedWith Ryerson, Caroline Hutchinson person
associatedWith Ryerson, Caroline Hutchinson. person
associatedWith Scudder, Horace Elisha, 1838-1902 person
associatedWith Twain, Mark, 1835-1910. person
associatedWith University of Chicago. corporateBody
associatedWith Wellesley College. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Paris (France)
Paris (France)
American literature


Birth 1865

Death 1960


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