Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number HRHS-029
Collection John F. Lewis Collection
Object Name Papers
John Francis Lewis (March 1, 1818 - September 2, 1895) was an American plantation owner and politician from Rockingham County, Virginia. He served two terms as the 9th and 14th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and represented Virginia as a Republican in the United States Senate during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War.
John F. Lewis was born on the "Lynnwood" plantation in rural Rockingham County Virginia, a son of Samuel Hance Lewis (1794-1869) and Nancy Cameron Lewis (1795-1841). He attended an old field school and engaged in agricultural pursuits as a young adult. He married Serena Helen Sheffey (1823-1901) in October 1842, and they raised six children.
He was a delegate to the Virginia secession convention in 1861, but refused to sign the ordinance of secession. He was the only member from east of the Allegheny Mountains that refused to endorse the document.

Lewis was an unsuccessful Union Party candidate for Congress in 1865. He was elected as Virginia's lieutenant governor in 1869 and served from October of that year until January 1870. Upon the readmission of Virginia to representation in the U.S. Congress, Lewis was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from January 26, 1870, to March 4, 1875. He served on the Committee on the District of Columbia in the Forty-third Congress. He was not a candidate for reelection.
He returned home and was appointed by Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes as the United States Marshal for the western district of Virginia 1875-1882, when he resigned. Lewis was again elected lieutenant governor in 1881 and served until 1886.

He retired from politics after his term and resumed his agricultural pursuits. He died at Lynnwood in Rockingham County, Virginia. He was buried in the family burial ground on the plantation. (Wikipedia)

Very few personal papers of John F. Lewis are known to exist, which makes the collection valuable for researchers. This is a collection of letters to and from some of the descendants of John Lewis through the Thomas Lewis line or a group who lived at Lynnwood in the 19th century. Letters relating to the part of the family who lived at Kalorama in Staunton are in the ACHS.

Folder 1:
Handwritten history of Pocahontas. History is written on letterhead from Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company of England. At the end it is noted that this was read before the Pocahontas Chapter of the DAR in October, 1910.
Folder 2:
Handwritten book of recipes dated October 20, 1875 and signed by Serina H. Lewis of Lynnwood, Virginia. Book is preserved in a protective cover. Please use gloves and handle very gently.
Folder 3:
Signed agreement dated October 18, 1938 between Deane Holt Circle and the John Rogers Producing Co. to stage an amateur production entitled "Top O' The World" in Staunton, VA.
Program for Home Coming, 75th Anniversary, August 23, 1959, for Grace Memorial Protestant Episcopal Church, Lynwood, Virginia.
Correspondence relating to the Home Coming and speaking engagements.
Folder 4:
Handwritten extract from "History of Huguenots" by Samuel Smiles (not dated)
Typed history of the "Lewis Family of Virginia" dated August 15, 1905.
Folder 5:
Postcard of Woodrow Wilson birthplace in Staunton, VA
Two typed copies of the "History of Huguenots". These are typed copies of the handwritten copy in Folder 4.
Folder 6:
Various newspaper clippings related to the Lewis Family. One clipping is dated 1923.
Folder 7:
Photo of C. Bersch, No. 20 N. Chas St., Baltimore, MD
Correspondence belonging to John L. T. Gibbs of Alexandria, VA dated in November, 1910
Certificate of membership dated September, 1887 for E. A. Gibbs of Washington, DC, in the Ninth International Medical Congress
Certificate dated February 28, 1887 for Edwin A. Gibbs to be appointed as a Medical Examiner of the Life Insurance Company of Virginia, Richmond, VA
Certificate dated March 27, 1891 certifying that Dr. E. A. Gibbs of Washington, DC is a Fellow of the Medical Society of Virginia
Stock certificate for 10 shares of the Lexington Development Company dated May 5, 1892 in the name of E. A. Gibbs
Stock certificate for 20 shares of the Wah Wah Mining Company dated March 20, 1939 in the name of Mannie L. Gibbs
Certificate of authorization dated May 31, 1911 from the Office of the Clerk, Supreme Court of the District of Columbia for Mr. Gibbs to perform rites of matrimony in the District
Folder 8:
Two letters, dated April 28, 1884 and May 3, 1884, between Mrs. L. J. McCampbell of Lexington, VA and Mrs. T. J. Jackson of Richmond, VA
Receipt dated October 17, 1888 to E. A. Gibbs, M.D., Pension Office, Washington, DC
Receipt dated 1884 to L. J. McCampbell from the Richmond & Alleghany Express
Envelope from the Donne Manufacturing Company, P. O. Box 208, Lynchburg, VA
Folder 9:
Nine envelopes addressed to the Hon. John F. Lewis, Port Republic, Rockingham Co., Va
One envelope addressed to Mrs. Edwin A. Gibbs from John F. Lewis
Certificate from Virginia Military Institute to Cadet Reuben Akers dated July 4, 1863
Certificate dated April 1, 1829 advertising stud services for mares for $5.00
Letter from House of Delegates Samuel H. Lewis dated March 17, 1827 which is a report of the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Twelve letters addressed to and from John F. Lewis dated 1860, 1866, 1869, 1889
Handwritten "Sketch of the Lewis Family written by the late Genl Samuel H. Lewis of Lewiston, Rockingham Co., Virginia (not dated)
Receipt dated March 23, 1870 to Jno. F. Lewis, Executor of Genl. S. H. Lewis
Folder 10:
Collection of vintage postage stamps
40+ envelopes and post cards addressed to John Lewis, Samuel Lewis, and Edwin Gibbs. Most envelopes are empty, but some have letters enclosed
Receipt dated 1924 for payment of taxes to Mrs. Mary L. Gibbs, Washington, DC
Certificate dated October 10, 1898 certifying that Edwin A. Gibbs is recommended for appointment for Assistant Surgeon for the Navy Department
License dated January 2, 1897 certifying that Edwin A. Gibbs is a practicing physician at the Health Office of the District of Columbia
Certificate for transmitting registered bonds dated April 19, 1899 to Edwin A. Gibbs, MD

Title John F. Lewis Collection