President Lincoln had appointed William Henson Wallace to be governor of the new Idaho Territory on March 10, and the Senate confirmed the appointment the following day. Wallace was then the out-going Delegate from Washington Territory.
Born about fifteen miles north of Dayton, Ohio, Wallace took up a law career in Indiana and moved to Iowa in 1837, at the age of twenty-six. He emigrated to Washington Territory in 1853, settling about twenty miles northeast of Olympia. In 1861, Wallace was elected as Washington’s Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. By then, of course, Pierce had discovered gold in what would become Idaho.
|Sidewheel Steamer Similar to Sierra Nevada in Design.|
Lithograph by Nathaniel Currier.
Wallace did not arrive back on the Pacific Coast from Washington, D. C. until about seven week after his appointment. He and his family checked into the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco on April 28th. After about a week there, they sailed home on the Sierra Nevada, a coastal packet with stops in Portland and Victoria. In no particular hurry, he spent the rest of May and most of June shuttling between his home and Olympia.
According to reports, he was assessing his chances of being re-elected Delegate to Congress from Washington Territory. From his subsequent activities it seems the results were not encouraging. Finally, he returned to Portland to catch a river steamer to Lewiston. He left Portland on June 30.
“Arrivals,” The Oregonian, Portland (June 29, 1863).