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University Archives and Records Center [Contact Us]
Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949,
Extent: 3.5 cubic feet
William Draper Lewis graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a LL.B. and Ph.D. In 1896 Lewis appointed Professor of law and Dean of the Law School. This collection is particularly rich for documenting Lewis' early career. His association with the University of Pennsylvania is well represented.
Biddle Law Library: Manuscripts Collection [Contact Us]
Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949, Creator
Extent: 1 linear foot (about 235 items)
William Draper Lewis was born in Philadelphia in 1867. In 1891, he received both a law degree and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1892, he became editor of the American Law Register, one of the oldest legal periodicals of the time. That same year, Lewis married Caroline Mary Cope. They had four children, Henry, Alfreda Cope, Anna, and William Draper Jr. and resided in Germantown, Pennsylvania. In 1896, Lewis joined the law department at the University of Pennsylvania as Dean and Professor of Law. Under Lewis' leadership, the law school flourished as he recruited new faculty, broadened the curriculum, and strengthened the collections of the Biddle Law Library. He served as Dean until 1914 but continued on the faculty until 1924. In 1923, Lewis became the founding director of the American Law Institute (ALI). Lewis died in Northeast Harbor, Maine in 1949. The collection, 1874-1949, documents Lewis' personal life and span the years 1874-1949. A letter from Lewis to his mother written at age six and a letter from his son Henry to his widow Carrie written the year after his death are also included. The collection includes letters to and from his wife, children, grandchildren, and friends. The collection documents Lewis' observations and opinions on the current events of his time, and his roles as husband, father, grandfather, and friend.