By Kali Nelson
For Inland 360
On April 15, 1865, William Wallace, the first territorial governor of Idaho, addressed a group of Idaho residents who’d come to Washington, D.C., to meet President Abraham Lincoln — and told them Lincoln had been shot.
July 3, David Leroy, former Idaho attorney general and lieutenant governor, will become Wallace for the afternoon to share the story of Lincoln and Wallace and their impact on Idaho.
Lincoln signed the bill creating Idaho as a territory in 1863 and appointed Wallace as governor.
“I expect you (the audience) to remember to be of a frame of mind to be pioneers from Idaho Territory in 1865. We’ll be outside of the grass, but actually trying to create the feeling as if we were inside the 1865 executive branch and that should be kind of fun,” Leroy said.
Wallace’s link to Lewiston came also in 1863 when he appointed the city the capital of the territory and arrived there on July 10, Leroy said.
“To tell these interesting facts in a first-person character in 1865 is more interesting than a dry explanation of those facts,” Leroy said. “To weave them into a first-person narrative and involve the audience and the feelings that they (Idaho pioneers) might have experienced, had they known that Lincoln was just down the hallway from where we’re sitting, is an exciting opportunity for me to give a speech in a different way and involve the audience directly.”
The presentation will be held outside of the Nez Perce County Historical Society building on Third and Capital streets in Lewiston.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Wallace in the White House,” with guest speaker David Leroy, organized by the Nez Perce County Historical Society and Idaho Humanities Council.
WHEN: 3 p.m. Friday, July 3
WHERE: Corner of Third and Capital streets in Lewiston.