On February 14, 1905 Congressman Landis contacted J.J. Insley of Crawfordsville asking him to secure a copy of Ben-Hur with an inscription from Lew Wallace. Lew graciously acceded to the request and wrote on the flyleaf: “Charles B. Landis—our mutual friend, J.J. Insley sends me this book for autographing. He wishes to present it to you. You already know my deep regard for you and circumstances that make compliance with our friend’s wish a sovereign pleasure. Success to you in everything you undertake. There are rewards in good lives, and you are in the way of reaping them—go in that way. Lew Wallace, Crawfordsville.”
As it turned out, this testimony to a trusted friend is believed to be the last thing written by Wallace who died quietly the next day, February 15, after a long illness.
The General Lew Wallace Study & Museum celebrates and renews belief in the power of the individual spirit to affect American history and culture.