Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Royal L. Lewis Journal and Commonplace Book, 1844-1847

Duane Norman Diedrich Collection

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, June 2012

Summary Information
Title: Royal L. Lewis journal and commonplace book
Creator: Lewis, Royal L., b. ca. 1820
Inclusive dates: 1844-1847
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
Royal L. Lewis of Rochester, New York, and Flint, Michigan, compiled proverbs, journal entries, poetry, and other material in this commonplace book roughly between 1844 and 1847.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1979. M-1873.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Royal L. Lewis journal and commonplace book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Biography

Royal L. Lewis was born in New York around 1820. In the spring of 1845, he moved from Rochester, New York, to Chicago, Illinois, and he settled in Flint, Michigan, before 1847. He lived in Flint with his wife Harriet, and worked as a miller.


Collection Scope and Content Note

Royal L. Lewis of Rochester, New York, and Flint, Michigan, compiled proverbs, journal entries, poetry, and other material in this commonplace book roughly between 1844 and 1847.

The entries in Royal Lewis's book are spread throughout the volume, though most appear in distinct sections, separated by varying numbers of blank pages. From April to October 1845, Lewis kept a sporadic travel diary (11 pages), in which he described his journey from Rochester, New York, to Chicago, Illinois, via northern Michigan, and discussed some of his experiences while living in Chicago, where he remained until at least October 1845. He wrote about his lack of acquaintances, the weather, and a prairie fire. These entries are followed by a brief journal entry about food prices and a meeting of the "G. Co." Democratic Party in 1847 (1 page) and a copy of a letter Lewis wrote inquiring about land near a settlement called Waterloo (1 page). The middle of the volume contains 3 pages of material regarding the United States presidential election of 1844, including an antislavery poem or song entitled "For the Abolition Election of 1844," written to the tune of "Scots Who [sic.] Hae Wie Wallace Bled"; information about the Democratic and Whig candidates; and a table showing each state's number of electors and election date.

Lewis also recorded proverbs and copied poems, which are located throughout the volume (9 pages). Many concern love, self-improvement, and religion. One religious poem is attributed to Luís Vaz de Camões, and another, a hymn, was originally written by German poet William Augustus Muhlenberg, though it is labeled "Prescott's verse." The commonplace book also contains a page of shorthand writing and "Valuable Receipts," which are recipes for a soda solution and soap.

This volume includes an unused, 2-page, partially-printed index (modeled after John Locke's indexing method) and a 1-page explanation of the method. The printed page titles are: "Gould's Common-Place Book" and "Gould's Common-Place Book, Upon the Plan of Dr. John Locke."

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Antislavery movements--United States--History--19th century..
    • Chicago (Ill.)
    • Michigan--Description and travel.
    • New York (State)--Description and travel.
    • Presidents--United States--Election--1844.
    • Presidents--United States--Election--1844--Songs and music.
    • Real property--Michigan.
    • Religious poetry.
    • United States--Politics and government--1841-1845.
    Contributors:
    • Camões, Luís de, 1524?-1580.
    • Muhlenberg, William Augustus, 1796-1877.
    Genre Terms:
    • Commonplace books.
    • Diaries.
    • Poems.
    • Proverbs.
    • Recipes.
    • Songs (document genre)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Volume   1  
    Royal L. Lewis journal and commonplace book,  1844-1847 [series]: