Guide to the Edward Morgan Lewis Letters, 1914-1936
Collection number: MS 53
About Edward Morgan Lewis
Edward Morgan Lewis was born on Dec. 25, 1872 in Machynlleth, Wales, and came to the
United States in 1880. He received a B.A. in 1896, and an M.A. from Williams
College. While working on his masters degree, he was a pitcher for the Boston Braves
from 1896-1900, and for the Boston Red Sox in 1901.
After leaving baseball, Lewis assumed the position of Instructor of Elocution at
Columbia University. In 1904, he returned to Williams College where he was an
instructor in public speaking and was soon promoted to Assistant Professor.
In 1911, Lewis became Dean at the Massachusetts Agricultural College. While at MAC,
Lewis also served as Head of the Languages Department, Head of the Literature
Department, Head of the Humanities Division, Acting President, and President.
He came to the University of New Hampshire in September 1927. Even though the
depression years made the University's financial situation less than desirable,
Lewis oversaw the construction of several buildings, including James Hall, and Hood
House, as well as construction of new athletic fields, which were named for him. He
was also successful in improving teaching and administration standards. Lewis died
while serving as President of the University of New Hampshire on May 24, 1936. His
friend, Robert Frost, read at the memorial service.
About the Edward Morgan Lewis Letters
Letters written by well-known individuals to Edward Morgan Lewis, including two from
Rear Admiral Richard Byrd (of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition), one declining Lewis’s
invitation to be his guest on the occasion of Byrd’s lecture in Durham in October
1930, and the other thanking Lewis and his wife for their hospitality while Byrd was
in Durham receiving an honorary degree; one from then Vice-President Calvin
Coolidge, while Lewis was a dean at the Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1922;
two from Robert Frost, one introducing his friend Orrin Griffis (?), who wishes to
meet Lewis, the other asking Lewis to decline an invitation from Henry Bailey
Stevens and Agnes Ryan; Harry Lloyd Hopkins, head of the WPA under Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, to Mrs. Lewis, making his condolences on the death of her husband in
1936; a letter of introduction from Charles Evans Hughes, Secretary of State under
Warren Harding, to various U.S. diplomatic and consular offices abroad; Connie Mack,
manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, replying to Lewis’s suggestion of how best to
use [Chick] Davies (1914); Dwight Whitney Morrow, U.S.Ambassador to Mexico; William
Howard Taft, when Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, agreeing with Lewis’
complaint that the United States did not join the League of Nations (and blaming
Woodrow Wilson for the fact); Gene Tunney, former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion,
thanking Lewis for his letter of invitation to Durham; and Woodrow Wilson, former
U.S. President, wishing Lewis well on his trip to Europe in 1922.
There are also two cards, one an invitation to President and Mrs. Roosevelt “home,”
the other a greeting card from Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, a clipping of a printed
article by Robert Frost on baseball called “Perfect Day – A Day of Prowess,” that
mentions Lewis, a printed copy of a poem by Lewis called “The Little Pet Dog,” and a
poor photocopy of a picture of the 1899 National League champion Boston baseball
team that included Lewis, inscribed “Ted:- It brings back old memories. G.W.A.”
This collection is open.
Copyright is retained by the authors of these papers, or their descendants, as
stipulated by United States copyright law.
[Identification of item], Edward Morgan Lewis Letters, 1914-1936, MS 53, Milne
Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham,
Source unknown, date unknown