The General Lew Wallace Study & Museum is opening the 2014 season with a new exhibit entitled “Vindication: Lew Wallace in 1864.”
1864 was a pivotal year for the course of the Civil War and Lew Wallace’s life. Abraham Lincoln posted Lew in Baltimore, Maryland, while Maryland voted on the issue of emancipation. He also saved Washington, D.C., from invasion by the Confederates in July of 1864 at the Battle of Monocacy. In addition, Lew founded the first Freedman’s Bureau and assisted in the establishment of sanitary fairs.
Also in 1864, Lew struck manacles from around the neck of a slave who had been held in defiance of the emancipation law. Those manacles, on loan from Oberlin College, will be displayed as part of the exhibit until mid-October. The manacles were on display in the Wallace home until Susan donated them to Oberlin College, the first college in the United States to regularly admit black students, beginning in 1835. Oberlin College’s loan to the museum marks the first time they have been back in Crawfordsville in over 100 years.
The exhibit opens Saturday, March 8 and runs through the end of the season in mid-December. Stop by and see us to learn more about Lew’s Vindication in 1864!