Scope and Content
Title: Henry Lane Wilson Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1910-40
Wilson, Henry Lane, 1857-1932
Extent: 2 cubic feet
University of Southern California. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
Los Angeles, California 90089-0182
Gift of Mrs. John Vajen Wilson, H.L. Wilson's daughter-in-law, 1965
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[Identification of item], Henry Lane Wilson Papers, Special Collections,
Information Services Division, University of Southern California.
Wilson, Henry Lane, 1857-1932.
Henry Lane Wilson was born on November 3, 1857 in Crawfordsville, IN, the son of James Wilson, a congressman, soldier in the
Mexican and Civil Wars, and diplomat. He graduated from Wabash College in 1879, read law in Indianapolis, and practiced briefly
until 1882, when he became the owner and editor of the Lafayette, Indiana, Journal. In 1885 he and his wife Alice moved to
Spokane, WA, where he practiced law and engaged in banking and real estate sales. He prospered until 1893, when the financial
panic and depression took most of his money. An active Republican, Wilson campaigned for his older brother John, a member
of the House of Representatives and Senator from Washington state, and supported Presidents Harrison and McKinley. On June
9, 1897, McKinley appointed him as U.S. Minister to Chile, where he remained until 1904; Theodore Roosevelt appointed him
U.S. Minister to Belgium, 1905-10; and he served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, 1910-13, during the Taft and Woodrow Wilson
administrations. During World War I, Wilson was president of the Indiana branch of the League to Enforce Peace, resigning
in January 1917 because he thought some of its leaders were advocating a world alliance as proposed by President Wilson. During
the Harding and Coolidge years, Wilson remained active in business and served as counsel for US oil interests in Latin America.
He published a memoir,
Diplomatic Episodes in Mexico, Belgium, and Chile in 1927. Wilson died in Indianapolis on December 22, 1932.
Scope and Content
Correspondence, clippings, publications, photographs from the career of diplomat Henry Lane Wilson (1859-1932), with particular
reference to U.S. relations with Mexico, including the "El Chamizal" border dispute.