To begin, I would like to thank the Dill Fund for allowing me to experience a historian’s life by working at the General Lew Wallace Study and Henry S. Lane Place Museums in Crawfordsville, Indiana. I also want to take the time to thank the Wabash College Career Services for helping me secure this amazing summer internship.The General Lew Wallace Study & Museum provided me the opportunity to engage with the public by giving guided tours of Gen. Lew Wallace’s one-of-a-kind study/library, conducting historical research on Lew Wallace’s unique career as a lawyer, and further developing my professionalism through public speaking and interacting with other historians to make sense of historical research. While at the Gen. Lew Wallace Study, I studied Lew’s law career by studying and transcribing court cases that he was involved in when running the circuit in Montgomery County. The most significant find of the summer was the actual court documents from April 13, 1861, when Lew argued a civil case called Edwin Winship v. James Clendenning in Frankfort, Indiana. During this court case, Lew received a telegraph from Governor Morton, in which the governor told him that the Confederates fired upon Fort Sumter, and he needed to get to Indianapolis as fast as possible to rally his troops. Finding this court case has vastly expanded the museum’s understanding of Lew’s law career, specifically because Gov. Morton called Lew to arms in the middle of this court case, which significantly changed his life.
At the Henry S. Lane Place, I have taken on a much larger role due to the Executive Director being out for the summer on maternity leave. I was granted the opportunity to manage the operations of Lane Place during our director’s leave. At the Lane Place, my research focused on Lane’s law career, which lasted from 1829-1853, beginning in Kentucky and ending in Crawfordsville, and his early life in Kentucky. I tracked Lane’s education, beginning with his private education at Walker Bourne’s private school, his time at Mt. Sterling Academy, and his unique law career beginning with law tutoring and apprenticeship. Throughout my experience at the Lane Place, I sharpened my professional development skills through working with fellow historians around the nation to make sense of the historical findings I came across and when presenting information to the public regarding the complex life of Henry S. Lane.
Lastly, I would like to thank Larry Paarlberg (Executive Director of General Lew Wallace Study) and Jill Coates-Matthews (Executive Director of Sen. Henry S. Lane Place) for a great summer filled with vast learning opportunities in the field of History. The learning opportunities provided through the internship were very impactful, including the opportunity to live the life of a historian and the ability to further shape public speaking skills and professionalism. Overall, I had a great summer and am looking forward to further helping the Gen. Lew Wallace Study and Sen. Henry S. Lane Place with research and volunteer work in the future.