Lewis Family Register

Lewis Family Collection ca. 1800–1900; 1920–1985

The collection consists of papers of Thomas Lewis III (1771–1824, Framingham) who was engaged with his father Thomas Lewis (1750–1813, Lynn) merchant, founder of Lewis Wharf in Boston, wharfinger/and ship owner in The Boston firm of Thomas Lewis & Son, China and West India commission Merchants.

They are letters (1801–1802) written from France, Spain, and Guadeloupe, reporting on business matters that were being transacted there.

Also papers of William Gustavus Lewis (1816–1901), Boston shipping merchant and partner in the firm of A(biel) S(mith) and W(illiam) G(ustavus) Lewis & Co., which consist chiefly of business and personal letters (ca. 1832–1883) written from Haiti, England and cities in this country. They are chiefly business and personal letters (ca.1832–1883) written from the Dominican Republic and Haiti; court papers (1882) in a case brought against the United States by John OL. Wilson, as the surviving partner in the firm of Wilson, Laroche & Co., claiming losses of cargoes and ships to confederate cruises; and an inventory of his estate (1899). Among his papers are family letters (ca. 1863–1908) of his wife Frances Lewis Wilson (1819–1920) and an account, written in her old age, of their many years (1843–1870) spent in Haiti.

Included in the collection are records (ca. 1800–1900) of French spoliation claims brought against the United States by the firm of Thomas Lewis & Son and survivors for losses to French privateers of schooner Ranger in 1798 and ship Hope in 1800, and records of the distribution through estate administrators of the settlements of those claims.

Image of Mary Lewis, about 1865Included also are account books of Thomas Lewis, III (entries 1801–1802); John Littlejohn Wilson (entries 1838–1839 and 1842–1843) and diaries of Mary A. Lewis (entries 1862) and Frances Lewis Wilson (entries 1867; 1885).

Also letters from extended family members; genealogical charts and notes which trace the Lewis line to the Cape Cod Lothrop’s; biographical data; photographs and clippings; and transcriptions of original letters in the collection.

Gift of: Arthur P. Lothrup, 1986
1 linear foot, Prepared by Charlotte S. Price, 1986

Box I

Thomas Lewis, Jr. (or III)

  • Letters to Thomas (Sr.) and brother John from Paris, Bordeaux and Cadiz 1801–1802
  • In memoriam. Polly (Mrs. Thomas) Lewis Jr. 1865.

Thomas Lewis & Son (Thomas Lewis, Jr.)

  • Letters from John Lewis to Thomas Lewis and Thomas Lewis, Jr. from Guadeloupe. 1804.

William Gustavus Lewis

  • Family letters sent by William Gustavus Lewis. Ca. 1832–1886.
  • Family letters received by William Gustavus Lewis. 1835; 1847.
  • Business letters received by William Gustavus Lewis. 1847; 1883.
  • Business letters sent to William Gustavus Lewis. 1848; 1873.
  • Commendation of William Gustavus Lewis as Haitian Consul. 1867.
  • Memorabilia. 1866; 1891 and n.d.

John Littlejohn Wilson

  • Letter from John Littlejohn Wilson to Frances Lewis Wilson. 1838.
  • Family letters of John and Frances Wilson. Ca. 1838–1908. (Transcriptions)
  • Family letters sent by Mary A. Lewis to John and Frances Wilson. 1858; 1861-1865.
  • Family letters sent by Frances Wilson. 1863; 1867.
  • Court papers in John Wilson Alabama case. 1880–1886.
  • Letter sent by Abiel Lewis to John Wilson. 1888.
  • Papers in estate of John Wilson. 1899.
  • Biographical data relating to Frances Wilson. 1920. (clipping)
  • An account of experiences of Frances and John Wilson in Haiti. n.d. (transcription)


  • Family letters, some unidentified. ca.1824–1840 and n.d.
  • Genealogy
  • Photographs

Image of Abiel Lewis

Box II

Lewis Wharf

  • Its history; property development. ca. 1971–1985 (clippings)

Family correspondence; recollections

  • Lewis family letters, including correspondence written by Thomas Lewis III from France and Spain in 1802. 1801–1802; 1833; 1845. All genealogical charts (transcriptions)
  • A second selection of correspondence between John Littlejohn Wilson and Frances M.P.O. Lewis Wilson and other family letters written between 1836 & 1919. (transcriptions)
  • Correspondence of Robert Lewis Weis with family members. Ca. 1917–1945. (transcriptions)
  • Recollections of the Lewis family of Framingham, Mass. By Frederick Lewis Weis. (transcription)
  • Journey to Europe 1863, Abiel Smith Lewis. Transcribed 1973 by Robert Lewis Weis.
  • Precious Lewis Family letters written by great Aunt Sarah (Lewis) Scott … Presented to Robert Lewis Weis by his cousin Amy (Clapp) Lothrop, July 1943. (transcriptions)
  • Chiefly concerning cemeteries, by Robert Lewis Weis. n.d. (copy)


  • French spoliation claims
  • Registration of Schooner Ranger and ship Hope 1797; 1800.
  • Papers supporting claims for loss of Schooner Ranger and cargo, ca.1798–1899.
  • Papers supporting claims for loss of ship Hope. Ca. 1800–1886.
  • Assignments to William Gustavus Lewis of interest in schooners Convair and Willard G. Patton. 1874; 1882.
  • Letters from U.S. Government explaining delay in paying claims, 1871–1895.
  • Papers relating to appointment of Abiel Smith Lewis as administrator of estate of Thomas Lewis, Jr. 1885.
  • Papers relating to appointment of Gustavus Clapp as administrator of estate of Thomas Lewis, Jr., replacing deceased Abiel S. Lewis. 1899–1900.
  • Papers relating to distribution of settlement of spoliation claims to heirs of Estate of Thomas Lewis, Jr. 1899-1900.
  • Notices to heirs of payment of claims and their responses. 1899–1901.
  • “Bills to settle old claims fail” New York Times, March 15, 1956 (clipping)

Box IV

  • Cash book of Thomas Lewis, Jr. entries: November 1801–April 1802.
  • Journal of a voyage of John Littlejohn Wilson from Philadelphia to Cape Haytien, St. Domingo. Entries: April 1838–September 1839.
  • Cash book of John Littlejohn Wilson. Entries: August 1842–October 1843.
  • Diary of Mary A. Lewis recording travels in Europe. Entries: October 1–October 23, 1862.
  • Diary of Frances L. Wilson recording travels in Europe. Entries: 1867; 1885.