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Lewis Wallace
1827 - 1905

General, Judge, Governor, Ambassador,
Author of the Novel
Ben Hur

Few can match the exciting and colorful career of Lewis Wallace. He was born into a family of means, studied law, served as a general in both the Mexican War (1846-47) and American Civil War (1861-65), and wrote one of America's best-known historical novels. ■ At the end of the Civil War, he presided over the court of inquiry into the Andersonville prison scandals and the conspiracy against President Lincoln. Wallace also served as governor of the Territory of New Mexico (1878-81) and minister to Turkey (1881-85). However, he is best known to the general public as author of the novel Ben Hur, which was written in 1880. ■ Lew Wallace was born April 10, 1827, in Brookville, Indiana. He was a descendant of Scottish emigrants to Pennsylvania before the American Revolution. He remembered his grandmother's pride in her uncle, Scottish-born John Paul Jones, the American Revolution's greatest naval hero. ■ Shortly after 1800, Lew's grandfather, Andrew Wallace, moved to Pennsylvania then to Ohio and on to Indiana with his wife, seven sons, and one daughter. One of the sons, Lew's father David, was graduated from West Point in 1821, practiced law, and became Indiana governor and a congressman. ■ General Lew Wallace left the U.S. Army in 1868 and returned to his home in Crawfordsville, Indiana, to practice law and do some writing. He wrote three novels, The Fair God, Ben Hur and The Prince of India. Only Ben Hur was successful. It was highly acclaimed by the public throughout the world. ■ He also wrote Lew Wallace, an Autobiography, which includes a detailed account of his experiences in the Civil War. He died in Crawfordsville on February 15, 1905.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546