Margaret Lewis

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Portrait of Mrs. Margaret Lewis taken by Rufus W. Holsinger on March 26, 1914. Photo from the Holsinger Collection and UVA Special Collections.[1]

Margaret Lewis taught at the Jefferson School alongside her husband, Paul Lewis, as well as Isabella Gibbons, Philena Carkin, and Anna Gardner.

Margaret Lewis was born around 1840 in Virginia. Her parents were also born in Virginia. Lewis was born enslaved, likely to the Rev. Richard Kidder Meade, the rector at Christ Church Episcopal in Charlottesville from 1836-1868. Meade enslaved eleven people in 1860.[1]

Lewis joined the teaching staff of the Jefferson School in 1866.[2] A fellow teacher at the school described her as “quick, bright, alert and humorous."[3] She taught for nine years, leaving in 1875. After retiring from the Jefferson School, Mrs. Lewis worked as a nurse for the John E. Shepherd family, who lived on West Main Street.[1]

Lewis died on February 27, 1915. She is buried in the Daughters of Zion Cemetery. Her obituary was featured on the front page of the Daily Progress. Lewis outlived her husband and all 13 of their children.[1][4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Web. Lewis, Margaret, Julia Munro, Website, Jefferson's University... the early Life, retrieved June 10, 2021.
  2. Web. [ Disturber of Tradition: A Portrait of Anna Gardner], White, Barbara Ann, Book, Nantucket Historical Association, 2017
  3. Web. Holsinger Photos Capture Dignity of Local African-American Community, Robert Hull, John Mason, Website, UVA Today, May 20, 2015, retrieved June 10, 2021.
  4. Web. Burial Details: Margaret Lewis, Professor Lynn Rainville, Website, African American Cemeteries in Albemarle and Amherst Counties, 2011, retrieved June 10, 2021.

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