348. David Lewis
was born on May 5 1685 in Hanover County, Virginia. He died in 1779 in
Albemarle County, Virginia. David Lewis was born and grew up in Hanover County.
In 1734 he and his brother-in-law Joel Terrell entered 3000 acres in Albemarle
County, land located just west of where the University of Virginia now stands
in Charlottesville. His brother Abraham also entered 800 acres, including the
land on which the University now stands, but never moved there. David Lewis was
a captain in the militia in 1745 and a magistrate in 1746. His plantation was
just a few miles west of Shadwell, where Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743.
According to the Lewis genealogy, although it does not say on what authority, "he was a very large man with light hair and blue eyes, of strict integrity, benevolent character, and an exemplary member of the Presbyterian Church." In his old age he often taught school without pay.
There are three stories about David Lewis, none of which have been confirmed by me, that are two good to pass up. The first is that he went bald early and wore a wig, which he hung on the bedpost at night. But he was subject to frequent nightmares and one night he awoke in the middle of one, thrashing about as he tried to fight off the phantom fiend of his imagination. In the course of his delusion he dislodged the wig, which landed on him. "I have you at last!" he screamed as he trottled it. The next morning, when he woke up and saw his wig in tatters, he said, "There is fifteen shillings gone!"
In addition to planting, he also ran a mercantile business and one day heard that a ship on which there was a cargo in which he had an interest had foundered. He set off to Norfolk to find out exactly what had happened and en route stopped at a house to get some dinner and his horse fed (a common custom in the thinly settled southern colonies). It turned out that he was an old acquaintence of the owner, who insisted that he spend the night, which he reluctantly agreed to. That night a mulatto boy showed him to his room, but took the candle and closed and locked the door behind him. He called for the slave boy to give him the candle, but he refused to open the door, saying "There's a mug under the bed." Lewis checked and, sure enough, he could feel a dead man under the bed. Through a crack in the wall, he could see his host digging what appeared to be a grave. He mussed up the bed and waited beside the door for a long time. Finally, the host unlocked it, walked quietly into the room, raised an ax, and plunged it into the bed, where he presumed his guest was sleeping. Lewis fled down the stairs and out of the house and reported the attempted murder to the authorities. The host confessed to having murdered seven other men besides the corpse under the bed.
Finally, having outlived three wives, Lewis was, at the age of ninety-four about to take a fourth, when, on a hot summer day, he chopped down a tree that had a hawk's nest in it, and then drank a deep drink of cold water. He had a seizure and died. He was married to Anne Terrell about 1717.
349. Anne Terrell
(61)(3) was born about 1695 in
New Kent County, Virginia. She died in 1734 in Hanover County, Virginia. Children
i. William Lewis was born in 1718.
ii. Susannah Lewis was born in 1720.
iii. Hannah Lewis was born in 1722.
iv. Sarah Lewis was born in 1724.
v. David Lewis was born in 1726.
174 vi. John Lewis.
vii. Joel Lewis was born in 1730.
viii. Anna Lewis was born in 1733.
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