The Governor's Palace is an adobe structure, located on Palace Avenue in Santa Fe's Plaza, New Mexico, between Lincoln Avenue and Washington Avenue. It is within the Santa Fe Historic District and has served as the seat of government of the state of New Mexico for centuries. The Governor's Palace is the oldest continuously occupied public house in the United States.
In 1610, Pedro de Peralta, the newly appointed governor of the Spanish territory, began construction on the Palace of Governors, covering most of the American South West, although recent historical research indicates that construction began in 1618. In later years, the Palace changed hands, just like the territory of New Mexico, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the Spanish rediscovery of 1693 to 1694, the Mexican independence in 1821, and finally American occupation in 1848, the Palace originally served as the seat of the Spanish government. Nuevo Mexico's, which at included states such as Texas, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California, and New Mexico. After the Mexican War of Independence, the Mexican province of Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico was governed by a palace governor. When New Mexico gets to the U.S. Attached as a region, the Palace became New Mexico's first regional capitol.
Lew Wallace wrote the final parts of his book, Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ in the Building while serving as Regional Governor in the late 1870s. He recalled later in life that it was night, after returning from a tense meeting with Billy the Kid in Lincoln County during a severe thunderstorm in the spring of 1879, when he wrote the novel's concluding scenes. Wallace, fearful of being shot out of the tension surrounding the Lincoln County War, worked with the light of a shade lamp in his teaching of the shutter governor.