Advertise Here

Eye On Boise

A piece of Idaho history on display…

As the Idaho State Historical Society began its budget presentation this morning, JFAC Co-Chair Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, told director Janet Gallimore, “I never know quite what you’re going to bring, but it gets better every year.” The Historical Society was founded in 1881 and established as a state agency in 1907; it’s busy this year with the Idaho Territorial Sesquicentennial, the 150th  anniversary of the creation of Idaho Territory on March 4, 1863.

In line with that, Gallimore brought a rare and significant historical document to display to the committee. “This piece is the actual document of Lincoln’s appointment of William Wallace as our first territorial governor,” she told the committee. “I think that this document speaks volumes. It’s an amazing piece.”

The document is two-sided; on one side is the formal appointment, signed by President Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward; on the other, Wallace certifies that he’s not affiliated with the confederate states.

Gallimore said Wallace treasured the document and kept it after his service as Idaho’s territorial governor; it remained in his family for many years, but in 1982, his descendants in Virginia donated it to the state of Idaho for preservation by the Historical Society. Wallace selected Lewiston as Idaho’s first capital in 1863; that note prompted Rep. Thyra Stevenson, R-Lewiston, to inquire as to when the state seal would be returning there. At that point, Bell adjourned the JFAC meeting, and lawmakers gathered around for a close-up view of the historic document.

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Eye On Boise.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here