Thomas Jefferson Papers

Unidentified Author’s Short Biography of Meriwether Lewis, [before 18 August 1813]

II. Unidentified Author’s Short Biography of Meriwether Lewis

[before 18 Aug. 1813]

M Lewis, born August 18, of1 74 in Albemarle. he first went to common day schools, learning to read, to write & Arithmetic with ordinary facility,2 he was early remarkable for intrepidity, liberality & hardihood, at eight years of age going alone with his dogs at midnight in the depth of winter, hunting wading creeks where the banks were covered with ice & snow. he might be tracked through the snow3 to his traps by the blood which trickled from his bare feet. at eleven years old he was taken from his mother and remained untill thirteen with his gaurdian, when he was put to Latin schools kept by Dr Everett Parson Maury4 &5 Parson Wardell. From eighteen to twenty he remained on his farm an affectionate son and6 an assiduous and attentive7 farmer, observing with minute attention all plants and insects which he met with. In his twentieth year he joined a volunteer corps as a private under T. Walker against the insurgents. during the same year he was appointed Lieutenant in the US army. in his twenty third year he was promoted to a captaincy and returned to Albemarle to recruit, he again joined the army and acted as paymaster untill he was made private secretary to the President

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 148:25877); in an unidentified hand; undated; endorsed by TJ: “Lewis Meriwether.”

Matthew maury and James Waddell (wardell) were Episcopal and Presbyterian clergymen, respectively.

1Manuscript: “o.”

2Preceding three words interlined.

3Preceding three words interlined.

4Manuscript: “Parson, Maury.”

5Author here canceled “finally to.”

6Preceding four words interlined.

7Word interlined in place of “active.”

Index Entries

  • Albemarle County, Va.; schools in search
  • Everette, Charles; Latin school of search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; as hunter search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; as TJ’s private secretary search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; education of search
  • Lewis, Meriwether; military career of search
  • Maury, Matthew search
  • schools and colleges; C. Everette’s Albemarle Co. school search
  • schools and colleges; J. Waddell’s Albemarle Co. school search
  • schools and colleges; M. Maury’s Albemarle Co. school search
  • Waddell, James search
  • Walker, Thomas (1715–94) search
  • Whiskey Rebellion search