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Inventory of the Henry Lane Wilson Papers, 1910-40
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Henry Lane Wilson Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1910-40
    Creator: Wilson, Henry Lane, 1857-1932
    Extent: 2 cubic feet
    Repository: University of Southern California. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
    Los Angeles, California 90089-0182
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Gift of Mrs. John Vajen Wilson, H.L. Wilson's daughter-in-law, 1965


    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for access. Consult finding aid for additional information.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical material and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Henry Lane Wilson Papers, Special Collections, Information Services Division, University of Southern California.

    Access Points

    Wilson, Henry Lane, 1857-1932.
    Diplomats--United States.


    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.