University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department


John Frederick Lewis Papers

1882 - 1932
(bulk dates 1909 - 1928)

Manuscript Collection Number: 129
Accessioned: Moyerman Collection.
Extent: 4.6 linear feet and 75 volumes.
Content: Letterbooks, correspondence, deeds, wills, clippings, postcards, ephemera.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: April 1999, by Anne E. Krulikowski.

for reference assistance email Special Collections
or contact:

Table of Contents


+Return to beginning of John Frederick Lewis Papers

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

                                    
1         Series I.  Letterbooks, 1884-1932
               Consists of personal and business letterbooks of John Frederick Lewis;
               several office books of Lewis, Adler & Laws and Francis Laws, Lewis's
               law partner; two account books pertinent to two legal cases; a personal
               checkbook of Lewis; and a log book for the Tug John F. Lewis.  The
               letterbooks contain handwritten and typed, mostly signed letters, dating
               from March 4, 1884, to January 28, 1932.  

               Lewis's recordkeeping is a little confusing. He appears to have begun
               keeping numbered letterbooks in the early 1880s when he first began to
               practice law.  Although his legal affairs (Lewis specialized in maritime,
               insurance fraud, and real estate law) dominated, these letterbooks contain
               correspondence relating to other concerns.  Once Lewis established
               himself, his attention turned more and more to his collecting activities, his
               Morstein farm, and to the many other interests that marked his life. 
               Beginning in the mid-1890s and more so after the turn of the century,
               these other interests constituted the bulk of his correspondence.  For a time
               in the teens, this series was labelled personal and contained letters only on
               matters unconnected with his practice.  Lewis, Adler & Laws also kept a
               series of letterbooks and a few of these are included in this collection.  In
               the early 1920s, the numbering of Lewis's own series was given up, and
               his letterbooks once again contain all the letters written by Lewis, personal
               and business.  

               Books have been kept in chronological order, each book identified
               primarily by the range of dates of letters within.  However,  if numbers
               from Lewis's lifelong series are evident, they are indicated because the
               gaps are more readily apparent.  The six office books are indicated, but to
               prevent confusion their numbers are not given.


               March 4, 1884 to September 25, 1885
               October 27, 1885 to November 10, 1886
          6    November 13, 1888 to February 5, 1889   
          7    February 4, 1889 to April 27, 1889
          9    September 18, 1889 to February 12, 1890
          
2         10   February 2, 1890 to June 28, 1890
          17   March 8, 1893 to October 2, 1893
          19   May 24, 1894 to October 8, 1894
          20   October 8, 1894 to January 8, 1895

3         22   January 8, 1895 to April 1, 1895
          23   April 2, 1895 to October 5, 1895
          24   October 6, 1895 to January 3, 1896
          26   April 16, 1896 to November 14, 1896

4         27   November 14, 1896 to May 6, 1897
          28   May 5, 1897 to November 18, 1897
          29   November 19, 1897 to March 12, 1898
               

5         30   March 15, 1898 to June 17, 1898
          31   June 17, 1898 to November 4, 1898
               May 31, 1899 to October 21, 1899
          33   October 2, 1899 to January 8, 1900

6              January 8, 1900 to March 19, 1900
          37   March 19, 1900 to June 5, 1900
               October 16, 1900 to January 24, 1901
               January 24, 1901 to April 8, 1901

7         41   April 8, 1901 to June 14, 1901
          44   December 26, 1901 to March 21, 1902
          46   June 5, 1902 to October 17, 1902
          49   April 3, 1903 to June 30, 1903

8         50   July 1, 1903 to November 5, 1903
          51   November 5, 1903 to February 4, 1904
          52   February 4, 1904 to April 24, 1904
               June 13, 1904 to November 26, 1904

9              November 26, 1904 to May 20, 1904
          56   March 8, 1905 to June 7, 1905
          59   February 26, 1906 to July 16, 1906
          60   July 16, 1906 to November 20, 1906

10        61   November 20, 1906 to February 6, 1907
          62   February 6, 1907 to May 9, 1907
          63   May 14, 1907 to October 7, 1907
          64   October 7, 1907 to December 17, 1907

11        Series I.  Letterbooks, 1884-1932 (cont'd)

               August 21, 1907 top November 18, 1907 (Office Book)
               November 18, 1907 to March 2, 1908 (Office Book)
          66   February 10, 1908 to April 24, 1908
          70   January 28, 1909 to April 5, 1909


12        71   April 5, 1909 to July 12, 1909
          73   November 24, 1909 to February 18, 1910
          74   February 18, 1910 to May 3, 1910
          76   September 12, 1910 to November 22, 1910
          
13        77   November 21, 1910 to February 2, 1911
          79   April 18, 1911 to July 25, 1911
          80   July 28, 1911 to November 14, 1911
          81   November 14, 1911 to January 31, 1912
          
14        82   January 31, 1912 to April 13, 1912
          83   April 13, 1912 to July 1, 1912
          84   July 1, 1912 to November 11, 1912
          85   November 12, 1912 to February 1913

15        87   April 17, 1913 to July 21, 1913
          89   December 1, 1913 to March 9, 1914
          90   March 9, 1914 to May 26, 1914

16        92   October 19, 1914 to January 21, 1915
          94   March 29, 1915 to June 29, 1916
               September 7, 1915 to October 18, 1915 (Office Book)

17             October 18, 1915 to December 7, 1915 (Office Book)
          96   November 19, 1915 to February 2, 1916
          97   February 2, 1916 to March 27, 1916
          98   March 27, 1916 to June 12, 1916

18        106  December 19, 1917 to March 13, 1918
          107  March 13, 1918 to June 3, 1918
          108  June 29, 1918 to January 8, 1919
          110  June 9, 1919 to November 18, 1919

19             October 1, 1919 to November 4, 1919 (Office Book)
               April 26, 1920 to May 3, 1920 (Office Book, part)
          111  November 18, 1919 to March 1, 1920
          112  March 2, 1920 to October 26, 1920

20        113  October 27, 1920 to May 6, 1921
          114  May 6, 1921 to December 28, 1921

21             December 28, 1921 to June 19, 1922
               January 18, 1924 to October 1, 1924

22             October 1, 1924 to March 2, 1925
               March 21, 1925 to December 3, 1925

23             December 3, 1925 to July 23, 1926
               April 14, 1927 to February 3, 1928

24             November 19, 1928 to September 16, 1929
               September 17, 1929 to April 24, 1930

25             February 26, 1931 to January 28, 1932
               Index from Unidentified Letterbook
               Checkbook (March 23, 1927 to August 22, 1927)

26             Eliza M. Klemm Estate Account Book
     F1         Eliza M. Klemm Estate File
               Eliza J. McCully Estate Account Book
               Log Book for Tug John F. Lewis

27             Letterbooks of Francis Adler:
               First half of 1899 (letters at beginning and end are illegible)
               April 22, 1901 to August 6, 1901      
              
28        Series II.  Business Correspondence and Papers
               This series consists of business correspondence and papers relating to the
               cases with which John Frederick Lewis was involved.  There are also a
               number of deeds, wills, and contracts relating to various cases.  Some
               letters are addressed to other members of the law firm and there are a few
               copies of letters sent by John Frederick.  At the end of this series, which is
               arranged chronologically, there are a number of folders containing papers
               relating to specific cases.  As noted, many letters were tipped onto guard
               pages of a bound filing system, so there are letters on many topics other
               than business in this series.  Tipped-in letters are not always strictly
               chronological, which is why a few folders repeat the time period of a
               previous folder.

     F2    1870-1884
     F3    1885
     F4    1886
     F5    1887-1899
29   F6    1900-1906
     F7    1907-1912
     F8    1913-1915
     F9    December 1915 - January 1916
30   F10   December 1915 - January 1916
     F11   1917
     F12   1918
     F13   1918
     F14   1918-1926
31   F15   1926
     F16   1927-1931
     F17   No Date   
     F18   Fernald Estate
     F19   George P. de Silver Estate
32   F20   Battle vs. Sloan
     F21   Nesson vs. S.S. Titanic
     F22   Margaret A. Roper (Schooner)     

          Series III.  Personal Correspondence
               This series includes correspondence and papers related to the family life
               and interests of John Frederick Lewis:   letters addressed to John
               Frederick Lewis and Anne Baker Lewis;  papers relating to the two homes
               of the Lewis family; and correspondence relating to the collecting
               activities of John Frederick Lewis.  Another group in this series is the
               correspondence from Julia Lewis, widow of Henry Carvill Lewis, cousin
               of John Frederick Lewis.


          Series III.1. Personal Correspondence of John Frederick Lewis, 1882-1929
               Correspondence received by John Frederick Lewis includes letters, postal
               cards, and telegrams that contain donation requests, begging letters,
               requests for Lewis to speak to classes and clubs on various topics, travel
               arrangements, and  auto repairs.  There are also several letters concerning
               the books he wrote as well as family notes addressed to both Lewis and his
               wife.

     F23   1882-1898
     F24   1909
33   F25   1911-1919
     F26   1922-1927
     F27   1928
     F28   1929
34   F29   No Date
     F30   No Date   


          Series III.2  Correspondence Addressed to Anne Baker Lewis, 1909-1928
               Correspondence received by Anne Baker Lewis was of a personal nature
               and contains invitations, thank you notes, travel arrangements, and letters
               from friends and family.

     F31   1909-1928, No Date

          Series III.3  Papers Relating to Henry Carvill and Julia F. Lewis
               The bulk of this series consists of letters written by Julia and addressed to
               John Frederick Lewis who handled Julia's business affairs, the estate of
               Henry Carvill Lewis, and oversaw the renting, maintenance and sale of
               Julia's house in Germantown, Pennsylvania.  These letters were written
               during the period of Julia's widowhood, when Julia and her daughter,
               Gwen, lived in Heidelburg, Germany.  Letters and documents relating to
               Henry's estate are intermixed chronologically with Julia's correspondence,
               since financial and legal matters are often the subject of her letters.   
               Julia's correspondence ends abruptly.  

     F32   1885-1894
     F33   1895-1899
35   F34   1900-1902
     F35   1903-1909, No Date
          

          Series III.4  Papers Relating to 1914 Spruce Street, 1909-1928
               1914 Spruce Street was the Lewis family home in Philadelphia.  With only
               a few exceptions, the correspondence in this series relates to a library
               addition and other major renovations underaken during 1909.  Many
               letters are from Frank Miles Day & Brother, the Philadelphia architectural
               firm that designed and oversaw the work, and provide details about the
               design specifications, materials, and prices.

     F36   1909-1928


          Series III.5  Papers Relating to the Lewis Farm at Morstein, Chester County,
               Pennsylvania, 1900-1929
               This correspondence concerns the Lewis farm at Morstein.  Much of it was
               written by various managers of the property and addressed such topics as
               employees, the animals, crops, and attempts to purchase more property.  A
               few letters were written by guests at Morstein.  Correspondence relating to
               church and other activities of Lewis in Chester County are also included. 

     F37   1900-1910
     F38   1912-1918
36   F39   1926-1929, No Date

          Series III.6  Papers Relating to the Collecting Activities of John Frederick
               Lewis, 1909-1928
               Most letters were written by book and art dealers providing information
               about objects and their prices.  Several written by European dealers in
               1915 comment on the sinking of the Lusitania.  Other correspondence
               included here was written by conservators, frame makers, those soliciting
               Lewis's expert opinion, and those who wished to borrow objects for
               exhibits.

     F40   1909-1912
     F41   1915-1919
     F42   1925-1927
     F43   January - September 1928
     F44   October to December 1928, No Date


          Series IV.  Correspondence Relating to Cultural, Philanthropic, and Civic
               Activities


          Series IV.1  Old St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1882-1929
               This was the church attended by John Frederick Lewis. At least in the
               1880s, Lewis was an active member of the congregation, participating in
               the Young Peoples' Lutheran Association.  Most of the correspondence
               dates to the 1880s.

     F45   1882-1929, No Date


          Series IV.2  The Band Of Mercy, 1885-1910
               The Band of Mercy was either a Lutheran or Christian charitable group,
               the members of which distributed books, pamphlets, and hymns of a
               Christian nature to orphans and others residing in institutions.  Because
               only one dated item (1910) did not originate in the 1880s, most of the
               undated correspondence probably dates to the 1880s.

37   F46   1885-1910, No Date        

          Series IV.3  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1907-1928
               John Frederick Lewis became President of the Academy in 1907.  This
               correspondence relates mostly to administrative matters, such as exhibits,
               the art classes, students, and the awarding of scholarships, lecture
               arrangements, employees, and lending paintings.  Lewis also oversaw the
               Academy's art school at Chester Springs, Chester County.

     F47   1907-1912
     F48   1913 - September 1916
     F49   October & November 1916
38   F50   December 1916
     F51   1917
     F52   1917
     F53   1917
39   F54   1917
     F55   1918-1919 
     F56   No Date


          Series IV.4  The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1902-1926.
               Lewis served on the Board of Trustees as well as on the Hall & Building
               Committee.  The building on the Parkway was completed in 1902.  Many
               letters relate to procuring appropriate shelving and storage supplies for the
               various collections and furniture for staff and public rooms.  There are
               brochures of filing cabinets and estimates from various companies for the
               supplies.  Other letters relate to the art collection, and renting rooms to
               Philadelphia clubs and societies.  There are two signed letters from
               Addison Hutton, the well-known Quaker architect who designed the
               building. 

     F57   1902-1909
     F58   1910-1913
     F59   1911-1926, No Date

40        Series IV.5  Other Cultural, Philanthropic, and Civic Activities
               Lewis was involved in many organizations and institutions in the city.  A
               number of letters from various mayors relate to Lewis's participation in
               advisory committees to mayors and municipal departments.  While other
               institutions and clubs are represented by this correspondence, the most
               prominent are listed below.  Known positions held by Lewis are indicated. 

               Legal Affililiations
               The Law Academy, Member of Argument Committee

               Social
               The Wistar Party
               The DownTown Club (luncheon club)
               The Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society

               Philanthropic
               Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, Secretary
               The Young American Humane Union, President

               Civic
               The Committee for a New Philadelphia
               The Committee of Seventy
               The Historical Pageant Association
               The Permanent Committee on Comprehensive Plans
               Sesquicentennial Commission, Mayor's Reception Committee 

               Cultural
               American Academy of Music, President
               Metropolitan Opera House Co. of  Philadelphia
               Philadelphia Grand Opera Association, Founding Member
               The Art Alliance
               The Art Jury, President
               The Mercantile Library
               The Apprentices' Library, President
               The Free Library of Philadelphia, Trustee
               The Contemporary Club (literary society)
               The Pennsylvania Library Club, Member of Executive Committee
               The Geneological Society of Pennsylvania, Vice-President
               The Philadelphia War History Association, Chairman
               The Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia

     F60   1884-1910 
     F61   1912
     F62   1915-1919
     F63   1920-1927
     F64   1928
     F65   1929, No Date
     

          Series V.  Unidentified Correspondence and Papers
               These documents were part of the Lewis collection, but their content
               provides no basis for determining their connection to Lewis. The
               fragments of letters possibly came unstuck from letters that were tipped
               into binding.

     F66   Correspondence Relating to the Friends' Book Store
     F67   Letters to and From Unidentified People
     F68   Letter Fragments
     F69   Ephemera, including clippings, an art post card, brochures, a photograph


               
  
 

+Return to beginning of John Frederick Lewis Papers Footer
Back to the UD Special Collections Home Page

+ Return to List of Manuscript Finding Aids by Title

This page is maintained by Special Collections
Last modified: 01/19/11
  • UD Library Special Collections  •   181 South College Avenue  •   Newark, DE 19717-5267  •   USA
    Phone: USA +1 302-831-2229  •   ©2014