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David Wallace

Gov. David Wallace

  • December 6, 1837 - December 9, 1840
  • Whig
  • April 4, 1799
  • September 4, 1859
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Point
  • Married twice--Esther French Text, Zeralda Sanders; Seven Children
  • Representative
  • Militia


DAVID WALLACE, Indiana’s sixth governor, was born in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, on April 4, 1799. He graduated from West Point in 1821, and stayed there for an additional two years working as an assistant professor of mathematics. After his time at West Point, he moved to Indiana, where he studied law, and established a legal career. Wallace also served in the 7th Regiment of the Indiana militia, as a lieutenant and later advanced to the rank of colonel. He entered politics in 1828, serving as a member to the Indiana House of Representatives, a position he held until 1831. He also served as lieutenant governor of Indiana from 1831 to 1837. Wallace won election to the Indiana governorship on August 7, 1837, and was sworn into office on December 6, 1837. During his tenure, school advancements were endorsed, but failed to win approval in the legislature. Also, the Potawatomi Indians were removed from the state in 1838, and the state’s internal improvement program became unsound, causing economic difficulties within the state. After finishing his gubernatorial term, Wallace was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, an office he held from March 4, 1841 to March 3, 1843. He also served as a delegate to the 1850 Indiana Constitutional Convention, and was judge of the Marion County Court of Common Pleas, serving from 1856 until his death in 1859. Governor David Wallace died on September 4, 1859, and was buried at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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