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Inventory of the Lewis Family Papers
D-329  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Creator: Lewis family
    Title: Lewis Family Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1784-1909
    Extent: 0.8 linear feet
    Abstract: The Lewis Family Papers contain materials relating primarily to Reed Lewis (1787-1836), his son John Bacon Lewis (1825-1909), and John's wife, Elizabeth (1826-1866). John Bacon Lewis was a California pioneer who operated a draying business in San Francisco from 1849-1856. He later purchased and farmed land in Sonoma County. Thirty seven letters written to or by John or Elizabeth Lewis make up the bulk of the Papers. Transcriptions of nearly all of these letters are also found in the Papers. The letters discuss family news, life in Farmington, Connecticut or San Francisco, California, and travel between Connecticut and California via the Isthmus of Panama.
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Davis, California 95616-5292
    Collection number: D-329
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English.

    Biography

    Reed Lewis was born on October 14, 1787 in Vermont. He later moved to New York and was a pioneer of Saratoga County. In 1810, he married Margaret Bacon (1794-1869). They had five children: Sarah, Catherine, Jane, Mary, and John.
    John Bacon Lewis, the youngest of Reed and Margaret Lewis' children was born on March 15, 1825 in Northumberland, New York. After the death of his father in 1836, John was sent to live with his sister Jane and her husband, James Cowles in Farmington, Connecticut. He resided there until 1847 when he returned to New York and entered into the mercantile business in Schuylerville.
    On February 2, 1848, John married Elizabeth Bodwell. Elizabeth (October 10, 1826-October 20, 1866) was born in Farmington to Augustus and Olive (Buck) Bodwell. John and Elizabeth had two children: John Bacon Lewis (1849-1850) and Charles Wadsworth Lewis (1853-1942).
    In January 1849, John joined the New York Union Mining Company, formed for the purpose of gold mining in California. The company set sail for California on February 23. However, when the group reached Panama, they found "two to three thousand people all anxious to get to California before the gold was all exhausted, and there was but one steamer available, therefore we were detained." After a four month stay in Panama, the company arrived in San Francisco in late August 1849 and soon dissolved their partnership. Shortly after his arrival in San Francisco, John bought a horse and cart and started a draying business. Elizabeth joined John in California in 1851.
    In 1856, John sold his draying business and moved to Sonoma County. There he purchased a tract of land with his brother-in-law, Charles Augustus Bodwell. They cultivated the land together until 1864, when John bought out Charles' interest. In 1900, John moved to Petaluma where he resided until his death on January 6, 1909.
    Sources:
    Gregory, Tom. History of Sonoma County, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county, who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present time . Los Angeles, Calif., Historic Record Company, 1911.
    The Pioneer and Historical Review.[San Jose, Cal.: A.P. Murgotten], September 1898.

    Scope and Content

    The Lewis Family Papers contain materials relating primarily to Reed Lewis (1787-1836), his son John Bacon Lewis (1825-1909) and John's wife, Elizabeth (1826-1866). Thirty seven letters written to or by John or Elizabeth Lewis make up the bulk of the Papers. Transcriptions of nearly all of these letters are in the Papers. The letters discuss family news, life in Farmington, Connecticut or San Francisco, California, and travel between Connecticut and California via the Isthmus of Panama. Several deeds relating to Reed Lewis' purchase of land in New York are also included.

    Collection Arrangement

    The Papers are arranged into six series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Deeds, 3. Financial Document, 4. Writings, 5. Transcriptions, and 6. Ephemera.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Lewis, Reed, 1787-1836
    Lewis, John Bacon, 1825-1909
    Lewis, Elizabeth, 1826-1866
    Lewis family
    Voyages to the Pacific coast
    Farmington (Conn.)--History
    San Francisco (Calif.)--History
    Saratoga County (N.Y.)--History

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated in 1999.

    Processing Information

    Sara Gunasekara processed these papers and created and encoded this finding aid.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lewis Family Papers, D-329, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.