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Susan Wallace collection

 Collection — Folder: S1352
Identifier: S1352

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, both photocopies as well as four original letters from Susan Wallace ranging from 1861 to 1892 regarding the U.S. Civil War, family life, her husband's writing career, and politics. There are also a hand-written biography of Susan E. Wallace, beginning with her birth in 1830, and continuing through 1874 and two newspaper clippings, one from The Inter Ocean (undated) and one labeled Triple Sheet (August 13, 1874), about Lew Wallace.


  • 1861-1892


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Susan Wallace was an author and poet from Crawfordsville, Indiana. She was born Susan Arnold Elston to Isaac Compton and Maria Eveline (Akin) Elston on December 25, 1830. She married Lew Wallace, future Union general, politician, and author, on May 6, 1852. Susan Wallace's writing career began long before her husband's and focused on home, friends, Christianity, and travel. She often accompanied her husband, who accepted appointments as the governor of New Mexico Territory ( ) and the U.S. minister to the Ottoman Empire ( ), and wrote vivid descriptions and reflections on New Mexico Territory, the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East and the people there. In New Mexico, Wallace uncovered priceless histoircal records of the previous Spanish and Mexican governments, and is largely responsible for the preservation of a significant part of the region's history. She died in Crawfordsville on October 1, 1907, two years after her husband's passing.


Items in the collection.

Mason, Thomas A., Marcia R. Caudell, Suzanne S. Bellamy, and Ray E. Boomhower. "Publishing Lew and Susan Wallace in the Twenty-first Century". Indiana Magazine of History 104, 3 (2008 June): 176–181.

Spragg, Joann. "Susan Elston Wallace: A Biographical Essay." Accessed June 8, 2018.

"Susan Elston Wallace." General Lew Wallace Study & Museum. 2018. Accessed June 8, 2018.

Hudson, Helen Mundy. "Susan Elston Wallace: Linking Deep History to an Environmental Ethic." Presentation at the Hoosier Women at Work conference, Indianapolis, IN, April 6, 2018.

"Susan Wallace." Wikipedia. Last modified September 15, 2017. Accessed June 8, 2018.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Dorothy Russo on 1951/02/05.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2018/05/17 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid completed 2018/05/17 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid revised 2018/06/08 by Brittany Kropf.
Susan Wallace collection
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.