Lewis Family Page

Updated: 10 March 2009

If you have information on this line, please contact Jim Adams (adamsmckain at gmail.com) with your births, weddings, obituaries, photographs, etc.

Descendants of James Otto (1799-1858) and Sophia E. Peltier (1801- ) Lewis. James and Sophia had a son, William Wallace Lewis (1832 - 1918) who married Abigail Hannah Alford (1834 - 1918).

William and Abigail (Alford) Lewis had a son, William Alford Lewis who married Martha Lydia (Lewis?). Martha was born in 1861 and died in 1928 in Kalamazoo. They had a son, Claude Amasa Lewis (12 May 1886 - 11 June 1958). Claude Amasa Lewis and Hazel Grace Adams had a son, John Keith "Jack" Adams and Jean Adams.

The 2nd great-grandfather of Jack, James Otto Lewis of Detroit was an artist (The Aboriginal Portfolio). The US Indian Department (possibly BIA?) commissioned Lewis to attend government sponsored Indian councils and treaty ceremonies between 1825-1828. Lewis executed portraits and interviewed Indian chiefs who attended these meetings. Lewis ventured to such locales as Prairie du Chien, Fond du Lac, Butte des Morts, and Fort Wayne.

For more information on James Otto Lewis, see:

Famous Wisconsin Artists and Architects by Hannah Heidi Levy,

James Otto Lewis The American Indian Portfolio: An Eyewitness History, 1823-1828.

McKenna & Hall History of the Indian Tribes of North America,

Janet Campbell & Kenna A. Franks The Wilderness Legacy of James Otto Lewis.

McDermott, John Francis. The J.O. Lewis Port Folio, Minnesota History, 1952. Vol. 33, pp. 20-21

Viola, Herman J. Thomas L. McKenney: Architect of America's Early Indian Policy, 1816-1830. 1974

Search the Wisconsin Historical Images at the Wisconsin Historical Society. You can purchase prints from them..

You can purchase a 2 CD-ROM set of Lewis' Aboriginal Portfolio: The Complete Edition for $150.00 from the University of Cincinnati Digital Press.

Prints can be ordered from Allposters.com

Col. Daniel Boone by James Otto Lewis

"Col. Daniel Boone", engraving by James Otto Lewis, based on a lost 1820 painting by Chester Harding. In 1861, Harding destroyed the original painting, which had been painted on ordinary table oilcloth and was aging poorly, by cutting out the head and putting it on a new canvas. Lewis's engraving is the only remaining version of the original full-length portrait. This engraving accurately depicts Boone's clothing—later depictions often inaccurately put Boone in a coonskin cap. Published October 11, 1820


James Otto Lewis, "Indian Canoe." (Colored lithograph)

In 1826 McKenney traveled with Lewis Cass to Fond du Lac by way of the Great Lakes to negotiate a treaty with the Chippewa. James Otto Lewis, an indifferent but enthusiastic painter, accompanied the expedition and executed many Indian portraits which became the basis of his Aboriginal Portfolio, an ambitious attempt at a large-scale color plate book which preceded the better known work of McKenney and Hall. Lewis also produced the images used by McKenney in this work, a notable step forward in American illustrated travel books. The account was extensively (if crudely) illustrated with 29 lithographs. A colored version was issued as well. The publisher was the redoubtable Fielding Lucas, a pioneer of American color book illustration; the book came out the same year as his Drawing Book, which also appears in this exhibition.

Thomas L. McKenney. Sketches of a Tour to the Lakes, of the Character and Customs of the Chippeway Indians, and of the Incidents Connected with the Treaty of Fon du Lac ... also a Vocabulary of the Algic, or Chippeway Language. Baltimore, 1827.