Lewis family papers
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Lewis family of Newark, Delaware, who came to be prominent farmers and landholders during the mid- to late- nineteenth century, was descended from Philip Lewis, Sr., who owned farmland in Little Creek Hundred in Kent County, Delaware.
Philip Lewis, Sr., (d. 1769) and his wife Mary (d. 1782) had one son named Philip, who was born in 1768. Philip Lewis, Sr., died in 1769 and his wife remarried and died in 1782.
Following the death of his father and remarriage of his mother to Risdon Reese, a blacksmith, Philip Lewis, Jr., lived with his mother and step-father. He attended school in Chestertown, Maryland, with his step-brothers and eventually received a Bachelor of Arts degree. After his mother's death when he was fourteen, Philip was appointed a guardian by the state of Delaware. Upon reaching the age of majority, he was permitted to select his own guardian and chose his step-father. Philip Lewis inherited land from his father and continued to accumulate wealth through farming and subsequent land deals. During the course of his education and business dealings, Philip became interested in the political climate of the country. In 1792, he was selected a grand juryman in Kent County and produced a number of speeches, essays, and additional writings regarding the rights of citizens and other political issues. In 1791, he married Dorcas Armitage, a grand-daughter of Thomas Cooch, and together they had three sons. Philip Mirabeau was born in 1793 and died two months later. Robert Montgomery was born in 1796 and died that same year. Their final son, Albert Gallatin Lewis was born in 1798. Dorcas Armitage died in 1800 at the age of 38.
After the death of his first wife, Philip Lewis married Frances Lowen Simonton, Dorcas' step-sister, in 1800. The couple then produced three additional sons. A set of twins, Jefferson and Franklin were born in 1801. Jefferson lived to reach adulthood but Franklin died in 1814 at the age of 13. Phocion was born in 1803 and later became a doctor in Philadelphia where he died in 1841. Philip Lewis Jr. died in 1804 at the age of 37.
Little is known of Albert Gallatin Lewis' early years. He attended Newark Academy during the year 1813 (F40). Following the death of his father, he inherited land in Kent County, Delaware and through assorted business dealings, he later acquired land near Summit Bridge and in Newark. In 1829, after establishing himself as a farmer, landowner, and businessman, Lewis married Catherine A. Lum. Their son, John Lum, born in 1831, died at the age of five months. Their second child, Anna Louisa, was born in 1832 and died six months later. In 1833, a third child was born named Henrietta Allman followed by Edmund Armitage in 1837. He was followed by the birth of Hester Sophia in 1839 and finally, Mary Josephine born in 1842. Both daughters would later attend Newark Female Seminary (F23).
Albert and Catherine expanded upon Albert's existing business dealings and continued to farm, lease land, and make real estate investments. These included the purchase of large plots of land within the town of Newark, including over 100 acres extending south from Main Street along present day Academy Street, purchased from Thomas Blandy in 1844. It was on this property that Albert Lewis built the family home. As the population of the town increased and the center of Newark expanded, portions of the Lewis' land were appropriated by the city for the purpose of building roads, such as Delaware Avenue, or were sold to various businesses, institutions, and residents. For instance, the Lewis family home, located at 150 Academy Street (F72), was eventually purchased and demolished by the University of Delaware. In addition, a portion of the family property was sold to the school district following Albert Lewis' death in 1883 and remains the property of the Christina School District.
Catherine died of cholera in 1847 at the age of 39, leaving Albert to care for the children. From papers contained in the collection, including poems written by Albert following the death of his wife, it is apparent that her death had a devastating effect on him. Further proof of their devotion can be found in the fact that Albert never remarried in the remaining 36 years of his life.
Albert's oldest daughter, Henrietta, married Aaron Marshall in 1857. The couple suffered the deaths of two daughters in infancy.
Albert's son, Edmund Armitage Lewis, married Anna Olivia Bradley in 1862 and together they had Albert Lum (1868–1933), Eugene Moore (1872–1938), and Mary Olivia (1866–1906). Edmund A. Lewis died in 1898. His wife Anna Olivia Bradley died in 1887.
Albert's youngest daughter, Hester Sophia, married Andrew McIntyre in February of 1864. When McIntyre died seven months later, Sophia was pregnant with their daughter who was born in May 1865. Unfortunately, Sophia died in childbirth. It is unknown who raised their daughter, named Catherine Sophia McIntyre.
Albert Lum Lewis, born in 1868, married Hattie N.M. Lewis, his second cousin, and together they had seven children: Edith Olivia (b. 1895), Edmund Armitage (1896–1897), Conrad King Dolby (b. 1897), Adelaide Eliason (b. 1899), Albert Lum Jr., (b. 1902), Harriet Elizabeth (b. 1905), and Anna Mary Edmunson (1906–1907). Albert Lum Lewis died in 1933. His wife Hattie died in 1941.
Biographical information obtained from the collection, especially genealogical chart (F69) and family Bibles (F46, F56, and F65).
The Lewis Family Papers consist of three linear feet of material related to this Newark, Delaware, farming family, who also owned property in Little Creek Hundred in Kent County, Delaware. Material in the collection dates largely from the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Members of the family were farmers and large landholders who maintained business relations with many prominent citizens of early Newark, such as George Platt, Samuel Donnell, James T. Maxwell, and Eri Haines. The collection sheds light on domestic and business issues during the time period. It also demonstrates trends in education, politics, and land dealings.
Included in the papers are deeds, indentures, maps, ledgers, poems, receipts, memorandum books, account books, day books, legal documents, wills, correspondence, Bibles, photographs, a voting poll, funeral notices, and news clippings. Three Bibles, belonging to different portions of the Lewis family, document three generations of family marriages, deaths and tragedies, including a high infant mortality rate (F46, F56, and F65). Among the maps included in the collection are some of the earliest known maps of the town of Newark. These maps also served to record the expansion of Lewis family land holdings in White Clay Creek Hundred, Pencader Hundred, and Little Creek Hundred (F70-F71). Divided into five series, the Lewis Family Papers are arranged chronologically following genealogical relationships.
Series I consists of the papers of the Philip Lewis family. Included in this series are legal papers and correspondence. Of particular interest are a number of essays written by Philip Lewis addressing political issues such as the proper behavior for a patriot and advice regarding the election of representatives. The series also contains materials belonging to Dorcas Armitage, Philip's first wife, who was the grand-daughter of Thomas Cooch. Also included in this series are papers belonging to Jefferson Lewis, Philip Lewis' son, such as descriptions of ballroom dances.
Series II includes the papers of the Albert Gallatin Lewis family, Philip Lewis' eldest son. Among the papers of Albert Gallatin are deeds, particularly for land around Newark, correspondence, checks, and mortgages. Also included are bills of sale and indentures for slaves held by the Lewis family and receipts for services provided by many prominent Newark residents such as Dr. E.W. Haines and Samuel Wright. Apparent throughout the papers, is Albert G. Lewis' continued relationship with the Cooch family. This is especially evident regarding the will of Francis Lowen, a distant Cooch relative, who left an inheritance to the children of Thomas and Sarah Cooch. Also found among the papers of Albert Gallatin Lewis is a marriage contract and property list made with Catherine A. Lum demonstrating the equality of their relationship.
In addition to the papers of Albert Gallatin Lewis, this series contains the papers of Catherine A. Lewis, Albert's wife (F32). Among her papers are numerous legal documents as well as a bound recipe book containing recipes she intended to be used by her children. Of particular interest is the Lewis family Bible, in which Catherine Lewis and others family members recorded births, deaths, and marriages that occurred in both the Lewis family and the Lum family, in addition to recording the same records for Eliza Ivory, a Lewis family slave.
Also included in this series are the papers of Albert G. Lewis's children, Henrietta A. Marshall, Edmund Armitage Lewis, Hester Sophia McIntyre, and Mary Josephine. Among the papers of Edmund Armitage Lewis is a draft notice for a three year period of duty in the Civil War. Albert G. Lewis purchased a substitute for his son for $275 and Edmund's service was deferred. In addition, Edmund Lewis's papers include a letter written to him as heir to the estate of Albert G. Lewis by the commissioners of the town of Newark, expressing their appropriation of a portion of Lewis family land to serve as an extension of Delaware Avenue from College Avenue to Academy Street.
Series III contains the papers of the Albert Lum Lewis family, son of Edmund Armitage and grandson of Albert Gallatin. This series includes many documents regarding the estate of Mary Josephine Lewis, Albert Lum's aunt and daughter of Albert Gallatin, for which Albert Lum served as executor, as well as various deeds, bonds, and mortgages. Finally, this series includes photographs of Albert Lum Lewis, his wife, and two of his children, as well as the family Bible with inscribed genealogical records.
Series IV contains the papers of other Lewis family relations in addition to papers belonging to a family business associate. Relatives whose papers are included in this series are Francis Elizabeth Cooch Armitage, Thomas Cooch, Anna Pennell Lewis, James B. Lewis, Philip Lewis Sr., and Thomas Lewis. Among the papers of Thomas and Anna Pennell Lewis is their family Bible which recorded births, deaths, and marriages within the family. Also included are papers belonging to business associate James Hynson, who owned land adjacent to property owned by Philip Lewis, Jr., in Little Creek Hundred.
Series V includes miscellaneous materials related to the Lewis family as well as items tangentially related to the family. This series also includes various maps of tracts of land both in Newark and in Little Creek Hundred. Included in the maps of Newark is one dated 1736 and depicting three roads leading into Newark. Also included is a map dated, January 1820, of the Village of NewArk depicting Main Street and detailing the residents. Another map depicts a plot of land in Pencader Hundred adjacent to land belonging to William Cooch. An 1848 map portrays residences and homes along Elkton Road. The verso of this map describes a dispute regarding a ditch opened on Albert G. Lewis' land to benefit land belonging to Levi Hiches and John Whann. The maps of Little Creek Hundred describe land belonging to Albert G. Lewis.
Boxes 1-6: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxesBoxes 7-9: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (upright manuscript boxes)F70: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (20 inches) Box 10: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (24 inches)
Gift of Donald Lewis Sheppard and Dorothy M. Ritterson, 1972. Gift of Carole Sheppard Jones, 2015.
Processed by Theresa Hessey, December 2003. Encoded by Thomas Pulhamus, February 2010. Further encoding Lauren Connolly, July 2015, and Tiffany Saulter, November 2015.
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2010 February 18
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, http://library.udel.edu/spec/askspec/
Including an address to John Gordon, addresses to the General Assembly, and an address to the "fair sex" of America.
Contains addresses to residents of Kent County, to merchants, to Delaware citizens about merchants, and an address to printers.
Includes an address to a delegate in Congress, to the people of Delaware about electing representatives, an address to the Delaware Society for the Encouragement and Promotion of the Manufacturers of the United States, and to the delegates of Delaware in Congress.
Includes addresses to the inhabitants of Kent County and to the youth of America as well as various writing fragments related to the proper behavior of a patriot.
Contains copies of letters written by Philip Lewis many of them written to Lewis' stepfather, Risdon Bishop. Many of the letters express the belief that only clothing manufactured in America should be worn by a true patriot.
Contains receipts for the payment of debts both owed to and received by Philip Lewis.
An itemized accounting of cash paid out by Lewis and his wives.
Includes bonds, deeds, rental agreements, a subpoena, and orders for the construction of a road in Duck Creek Hundred. Also included is a copy of the will of Philip Lewis.
One letter regarding the potential topic for discussion of the Juvenile Society and one letter to Lewis' niece, Dorcas Armitage Middleton.
Bound booklet containing Philip Lewis' thoughts on a variety of political issues such as the legislature, education, taxes, statuary laws, sumptuary laws for women, commerce, and qualifications for representatives.
Bound volume containing Lewis' autobiography covering the years up until the death of his first child with Dorcas Armitage Cooch. Also includes some political writings.
An accounting of a bond, an opinion regarding Sarah Armitage's estate, a division of Thomas Cooch's estate, and a short poem.
An indenture of Jefferson's slave, Henry Duffy, to Catherine Lewis, a receipt from G.W. Cummins, and descriptions of eleven ballroom dances.
Includes deeds related to land purchased by Albert Lewis in 1828 (?) Contains deeds of prior ownership and boundaries. These included deeds with Thomas Blandy and William Herdman.
Correspondence to and from Albert G. Lewis largely related to business dealings and including correspondence related to Lewis' ownership and indenture of slaves.
Appraisal of property bequeathed to Albert's brothers, Jefferson and Phocian Lewis by their father, Philip Lewis.
Cancelled checks of the Farmers Bank of New Castle, including one made out to William Cooch.
Mortgages for land purchased and sold by Lewis including a parcel of land sold by Albert Lewis to his wife, Catherine A. Lewis.
Includes an indenture of a negro girl to Catherine A. Lewis. Most bills of sale and indentures specify a number of years that must be served before being freed.
Receipts for monies paid to the heirs of Mary Middletown paid by Albert Lewis as executor of her estate for Middletown's share of the estate of Sarah Armitage, Albert Lewis' aunt, heirs included William Cooch.
Leases for farmland in both Little Creek Hundred and White Clay Creek Hundred. Terms of leases often include improvements made on the land and portions of grain yields and furnishes the leasee with both a home and a garden plot.
Receipts for furniture, farming implements, seed, fertilizer, farm animals, postage, groceries, and other household items. Includes bills for dental work performed by Dr. E.W. Haines, D.D.S., of Newark and a yearly subscription toHarper's magazine.
Includes a tuition bill from Newark Female Seminary for Hester Sophia and Mary Josephine Lewis, a receipt for dental work performed on the Lewis children by Dr. E.W. Haines, D.D.S., of Newark, a school tax bill, receipts for household goods, and a receipt for boots made for Lewis' slaves.
Contains bills for dental work performed by Dr. E.W. Haines, receipts for household goods and groceries, and a subscription to theDollar Newspaper.
Includes a subscription to theDelaware Gazette. Also contains receipts for school, county, and road taxes and US direct taxes as well as receipts for household items, wallpaper, farming implements, and seeds. Includes invoices for items shipped by the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad and bills for dental work performed by Dr. E.W. Haines, D.D.S. of Newark.
Ledger containing an itemized accounting of Albert G. Lewis' account with George Platt, a dry goods dealer of Newark. The ledger also contains an itemized account between Sarah Armitage, Lewis' aunt, and Platt.
Itemized listing of account with Benjamin Watson.
Continued itemized listing of account with Benjamin Watson.
Bound volume with an alphabetical listing of names and corresponding page number. Includes accounts maintained by Albert G. Lewis with many Newark area residents such as Thomas Blandy, William Cooch, Joseph and Peter Hossinger, William Herdman, and George Platt.
Bound volume with an alphabetical listing of names and corresponding page number. Includes accounts maintained by Albert G. Lewis with many Newark area residents such as George Casho, William Cooch, Joseph Hossinger, Samuel Wright, and John Whann.
Statement of the polls of New Castle County on October 2, 1827. Includes a list of candidates and the number of votes received in each hundred.
Contains a list of items given to Catherine Ann Lum by Albert G. Lewis as a wedding gift, a list of the personal property of Catherine Ann Lum, and a marriage contract making each other their heirs and executors.
Contains accounts with employees.
Legal documents and correspondence related to a dispute by the descendants of Thomas and Sarah Cooch that they did not receive the inheritance due them from the will of Francis Lowen of England who died in 1779 or 1780. Francis Lowen was the brother Sarah Lowen Cooch, wife of Thomas Cooch. The Cooch heirs did not receive their inheritance because they were not notified in America of their need to lay claim to the inheritance. All later attempts to secure the inheritance were denied due to a statue of limitations regarding the filing of a claim.
Contract for employment of farm workers. Most workers received a house and garden, rent free, in addition to a salary.
Bound volume that includes business transactions with Newark area residents including Nathan Wrench, Dr. A. Lowber, and Samuel Wright.
Bound volume that includes business transactions with Newark area residents.
For the purchase of a tract of land in Little Creek Hundred from Frederick Staake of Philadelphia.
Two partial wills of Albert G. Lewis in which he bequeaths the majority of his possessions to his son, Edmund Armitage Lewis.
Contains a copy of a speech given by Albert G. Lewis while a student at the Newark Academy. The topic of the speech was instruction for fine young ladies looking for a husband.
Bound volume containing original poetry as well as copies of letters sent by Albert G. Lewis.
Bound volume containing home remedies, poetry, and an enigma.
Loose sheets containing various poems both original and copies by other authors.
News clippings of poems, a copy of an ad placed by Albert G. Lewis offering a $10 reward for the capture of a runaway indentured "black boy named James Chippa," a copy of an engraving of Andrew Jackson, and various writings regarding the death of Catherine Lewis in 1847.
Contract making Albert G. Lewis her heir, rental agreement with John Powell in which Albert G. Lewis acted as agent for Catherine, account book for an account with Isaac A. Lum, lease with John Powell in which Albert G. Lewis acted as agent for Catherine, will of Rebecca Greene bequeathing items and money to Catherine, and a bound recipe book with additional recipes laid in.
Presentation inscription from A.G. Lewis to C.A. Lewis on October 22, 1829. Pages between the Old and New Testaments contain a record of family births, deaths, and marriages. Also included is a poem commemorating the death of John Lum Lewis, infant son of Albert and Catherine Lewis. At the conclusion of the New Testament is an inserted page containing birth and death records for the children of Eliza Ivory, a Lewis family slave. Printed poems, sketches, advertisements, and other ephemera were inserted throughout the Bible. These have been removed and placed in an envelope laid in the Bible.
Contains a receipt for items purchased, a news clipping announcing the death of her daughter Catherine Lewis Marshall, a poem written at the death of her daughter, and school reward slips.
A receipt for a subscription to the Dollar Newspaper, a lease for a tract of farmland, additional receipts, a lease and a deed for a tract of land originally belonging to Albert G. Lewis, and a funeral notice. Also included is a draft notice for a three year period of duty in the Civil War and a certificate of deferment after Albert G. Lewis purchased a substitute for his son for $275. Included in the folder is a physical description of Lewis and his substitute, William Curtis. Of further interest, the folder contains a letter written to Edmund Lewis as heir to Albert G. Lewis from the commissioners of the town of Newark announcing the extension of Delaware Avenue from College Avenue to Academy Street and the need of the town to appropriate a portion of land belonging to the Lewis family.
Bible of Edmund A. Lewis presented to him by A.M. Lum on June 13, 1850.
A receipt for a subscription to theGolden Dollar Magazine and a receipt for the purchase of a carpet.
Receipts, a mortgage for two plots of land to her brother Edmund, a bond made with her brother witnessed by Samuel Donnell, a will, and a funeral announcement.
Contains released acknowledging payment and settlements of the estate of Mary J. Lewis, Albert L.'s aunt, for whom he was executor.
Includes bonds, mortgages, and deeds.
An invitation to the funeral of Edmund A. Lewis, infant son of Albert L. and Hattie N.M. Lewis and a check made out to Eugene M. Lewis.
Includes a letter from his brother, Eugene Moore Lewis and correspondence acknowledging mortgage payments received.
Bible of the Albert Lum Lewis family. Family birth, death, and marriage records are located on the pages between the Old and New Testaments.
Will naming Philip Lewis as executor.
Legal document and indenture by Josiah Lewis granting Philip Lewis rights to a lease held by Josiah and a bond dated September 6, 1754, between Philip Lewis and other farmers to Joseph Heals. Verso contains receipts for payments made under conditions of bond.
Bond between Cooch and the executor of the estate of Andrew Boyd for the purchase of eighty acres of land in White Clay Creek Hundred, a copy of a deed for thirty thousand acres located in Welsh Tract, part of which originally belonged to William Penn, and two wills.
Opinion of the will of Thomas Cooch dated 1788, by William McKean regarding the distribution of the estate to Cooch's grandchildren, his only surviving heirs and an autograph notebook containing poetry, drawings, quotations, etc. Some of the pages are illegible.
Bill for John Simonton's account with Amelia Cook in 1805.
Bonds between Hyson and William Pope, various receipts, and a bond between Hyson and Simon Wilmer Wilson
Three poems, one of which is a fragment. Series IV. Other Lewis Relations and Business Associates (cont'd)
Copy of the articles, officers, and members of the Union League in the Twenty-Fourth Ward of the City of Philadelphia, of which Thomas Lewis was a member, news clippings related to home remedies, and one sheet of written home remedies.
Letter from James E. Pennell.
Document concerning ownership of a tract of land referred to as Murphey's Forrest located in Cecil County, Maryland, a fragmented copy of the Welsh Tract Agreement, and a deposition of Richard Smith regarding a tract of land in Kent County, Delaware. Also included is a deed from Alexander McBeath to James Anderson for the purchase of four acres of land in the vicinity of Newark, and an advertisement for R.M. Black, a Notary Public with an office near Glasgow, Delaware.
Various notes, a document related to two hundred acres of land granted to Thomas Lewis, a lithograph of Jesse Buel with an inscription, various news clippings related to births, deaths, and marriages in the Lewis family, a poem written about the Lewis family home by W.S. Cochran, and three typed poems.
A genealogical chart of the Lewis family, a letter from Albert L. Lewis to Edward Harris Lum regarding the genealogy of the Lum family, a written account of the children born to Edmund Armitage Lewis and Anna O. Lewis. Also included are a record of deaths of the Bealer family, a record of deaths of the Pennell family, and a record of deaths, births, and marriages of the Lum family.
Includes an early map of Newark depicting three roads leading to Main Street dated 1736, map of a tract of land belonging to Philip Lewis dated 1791, map of the Village of NewArk portraying Main Street and its residents dated 1820, map of land belonging to Albert G. Lewis and Phocion Lewis dated 1827, an 1828 map of land in Pencader Hundred adjacent to land belonging to William Cooch, 1853 map of Albert G. Lewis' Kent County farm, map dated 1848 depicting Elkton Road and its residents, 1869 map of land in Kent County belonging to Albert G. Lewis and Jefferson Lewis, and a final plot of the farm belonging to the heirs of Albert G. Lewis surveyed in 1884.Physical Description
Contains a description of the course of land belonging to Murphy and W. Edward, a fragment and a completed map of land located in Kent County belonging to Philip Lewis, a map of the state of Delaware, and two copies of a map of Newark portraying the corner of Main and Academy Streets with notes describing how the land was conveyed from the Lewis family to Samuel Donnell and the local School Board.Physical Description
Contains a copy of a photograph of the Lewis family home built around 1829, located at 150 Academy Street until it was demolished by the University of Delaware. Also includes a copy of a formal portrait of Albert G. Lewis, a copy of a portrait of his wife, Catherine A. Lewis, a copy of a drawing of Hester Sophia Lewis McIntyre, a photograph of Henrietta A. Lewis Marshall, a photograph of Edmund Armitage Lewis, and a photograph of his wife, Anna O. Bradley Lewis.
Includes photographs of Albert Lum Lewis and his wife Hattie N.M. Lewis, and a copy of a drawing of May Olivia Lewis Edmunson. Also included is a photograph of the home of James P. Lewis, a photograph of James, a copy of a drawing of Elizabeth Dodd Good, and a tintype of an unidentified home.
Contains photographs of Edith Olivia Lewis, daughter of Albert Lum and Hattie N.M. Lewis, at various ages. Three of the photographs include her younger brother Conrad.
Includes three oversize portraits of women: two photographs (one hand-colored) and one black and white watercolor portrait of "Elizabeth Dodd Good."Physical Description
3 itemPhysical Location
Removed to Box 10.