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Lewis family papers

Call Number: MS 624

Scope and Contents

The papers of Addin Lewis (1780-1842) make up the bulk of this collection. Outgoing correspondence (1811-1832) is found in a letter book dealing with Lewis' official business as collector of the port of Mobile, Alabama. Among the routine letters are several on the smuggling of slaves in contravention of the Non-Importation Act of 1808. There are also incoming business and family letters (1831-1842). Notable correspondents include David Daggett and Jeremiah Day. The rest of the Addin Lewis material consists of miscellaneous papers and maps relating to land sales in Mobile and of papers from Lewis' estate, both correspondence of executors William R. Hitchcock, Isaac H. Townsend, and Henry Ward, and a variety of wills and other legal documents, inventories, and administrative accounts.

Other Lewis family material in the papers includes an autograph album of Hannah Maria (Lewis) Bishop (1805-72), cousin and sister-in-law of Addin Lewis, and of her mother, Rhoda (Cole) Lewis (1766-1854), and an account book from the estates of Isaac Chauncey Lewis (1812-1893) and Harriet (Pomeroy) Lewis (d. 1899) of Meriden, Connecticut.


  • 1811-1918


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from White Brothers law office in 1915.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The principal figure in these papers is Addin Lewis, who was the first Collector of the District of Mobile and later mayor of the city. The outgoing correspondence is made up of his official letters as Collector and contain several on the smuggling of slaves. The incoming correspondence contains both business and family letters. Notable correspondents include David Daggett and Jeremiah Day. Also included are financial and legal papers concerning Addin Lewis's real estate transactions in Mobile as well as papers kept by the executors of his estate. Other items in the collection are an autograph album of 1823-1826 belonging to Hannah Maria Lewis Bishop and an inventory of the estates of Isaac Chauncey and Harriet Pomeroy Lewis of Meriden, Connecticut.

Biographical / Historical

Addin Lewis (1780-1842), fourth son of Captain Nathaniel and Sarah (Gridley) Lewis, of that part of Southington, Connecticut which is now Wolcott, and grandson of Nathan and Mary (Gridley) Lewis, was born in Southington on January 4, 1780.

In 1804 he accepted a position as Instructor or Tutor in the University of Georgia, at Athens, and remained there for four years. In this service he had gained such reputation and esteem that he was appointed the first Collector of the District of Mobile, without his solicitation. The importance of the office induced his acceptance, though the emoluments were small; and he found the position, as that of the chief representative of the general government, one with scope for all his powers.

At the same time he filled the office of Postmaster, and was made Mayor of the city and President of the local bank.

As years passed he became identified with all the public interests of the city and vicinity, and amassed quite a fortune. Having suffered for years from consumption, and being wearied of long official service, he retired at length from all his duties.

For some years he spent the summers in Connecticut, and the winters in the South. Finally, becoming a good deal deaf, he settled about 1827 permanently in New Haven and died here on April 7, 1842, in his 63rd year.

He was married, by the Rev. David L. Ogden (Yale 1814), on September 29, 1823, to Fanny, second daughter of his own cousin, Seth Lewis (Yale 1783), of Southington, and widow of Anson Judd, of Southington and Philadelphia. Two of her sisters married Yale graduates Timothy Jones (1804), and Dr. E. Huggins Bishop (1826). She died in New Haven on December 2, 1832, in her 43d year. Their children were three daughters, all of whom died young.

In his will he provided, after the death of his only surviving daughter without issue, for the gift of $10,000 to the town of Wolcott for the support of public schools, of $15,000 to the town of Southington for the building and maintenance of an Academy, and of $5,000 for the Yale Library.

Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College,Vol. V, 1792-1805, pp. 598-599.

Guide to the Lewis Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
September 1981
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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