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Meriwether Lewis

2nd Cousin
Common Ancestor
Colonel John Zachery Lewis II
“The common ancestor of Meriwether Lewis and Donald Scott Lee is Colonel John Zachery Lewis II.  Colonel John Zachery Lewis II is Meriwether’s Great Grandfather and Donald Scott Lee’s 8th Great Grandfather.”
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"Councilor" John Lewis inherited from his father the Chemokins estate in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co., VA. His father had made this estate his principal place of residence and it was also the first home of Col. John and Elizabeth Warner Lewis after their marriage about 1692. At a meeting of the Vestry on January 5, 1695, John Lewis was elected a Vestryman for St. Peter's Parish and his name appears as such at no less than 14 Vestry meetings between this date and June, 1791. By 1702, John Lewis had "departed this county", presumably making the move to Warner Hall, which his wife, Elizabeth Warner, inherited at the death of her brother Robert.
Councilor John Lewis was perhaps the wealthiest Virginian of his day. His land holdings included 2,000 acres in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester, 300 acres in York County, 2,600 acres in New Kent County, and several grants in King and Queen County, the largest of which was for 10,100 acres. The 2,600 acres in New Kent County represents the exact size of the Chemokins estate. He held a commission in the Virginia militia as some of the baptismal records of his children refer to him as Capt. John Lewis. He rose to Colonel Commandant of the militia of Gloucester County and most of the records of the 18th century accord him that title.
In 1704, Col. John Lewis was appointed a member of the Council along with his brother-in-law, John Smith of "Purton". He continued on the Council for the rest of his life. The end of his life in 1725/6 marks the end of an era in the Lewis history. Thenceforward, the history of the entire family is not so closely bound up with the vicinity of Warner Hall. While many of its members continued to reside in this home and nearby localities for several generations, descendants moved over the whole of Virginia and, eventually, throughout the southern states.
Meriwether Lewis
Meriwether Lewis is best known for his appointment by President Thomas Jefferson, to explore the land that was acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.  In addition he was given the task of reaching all the way to the Pacific Coast, and claim the land for his country.
Being an explorer, Captain of the Militia and the governor of the new Louisiana Country was quite an accomplishment for one who only lived 35 years.
He was of Irish and Welsh decent and as a young boy was infatuated by the outdoors and the specimens of life it supported.  His interests early on caused his parents to send him to one of his successful uncles, to live and get a proper education.  Upon graduating from what is now called the ‘Washington and Lee University, Meriwether joined up with the Virginia Militia and took part in putting down the ‘Whiskey Rebellion’.
Once President Thomas Jefferson secured the Louisiana Purchase from the French, Jefferson selected young Meriwether to lead his planned expedition.  The Lewis and Clark expedition lasted for two years and numbered over fifty men in Meriwethr’s ‘Corps of Discovery’, the special unit that was created in the U.S. Army.  Along with his friend Lieutenant William Clark, Meriwether enlisted the help of a young Indian guide named Sacajawea.  Meriwether and his group collected essential information along the trail they made in the Louisiana Country and beyond to the Pacific ocean.
Upon their return, President Jefferson appointed Meriwether as the second governor of the Louisiana Territory. Frederick Bates, Meriwether’s secretary, accused Lewis of mishandling his administrative duties.
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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Meriwether set off to Washington D.C. to meet with the President to prove himself capable of his role as governor.
Meriwether Lewis died on his trip back to Washington near Nashville, Tennessee at a place called ‘Grinder’s Stand’ on the Natchez Trace Trail on October 10, 1809.  It is still debated whether Meriwether shot himself or was killed during a burglary.
Nonetheless, Meriwether’s contribution to the exploration of the northwest and his contribution to the life sciences are considered incalculable.
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Original Indian Peace Medal
A member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, Indian artist Paha Ska, of Keystone, South Dakota with one of the original Indian Peace Medals that were given out by Meriwether Lewis while on the Lewis and Clark Expedition 1804-1806.
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Elizabeth Warner
“Elizabeth Warner brought into the Lewis family not only the ancestral lines of Martiau, Reade, and Warner, but also the ownership of Warner Hall itself. She had 14 children in all, with the names of nine being known. Their baptismal records are in the Abingdon Parish Register.”
Read more about the Lewises, the Washingtons, the Gordons and the Howards at Kenmore.Org
Lewis and Clark Expedition
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The Louisiana Purchase more than doubled the size of the United States at that time.  Meriwether and his group identified, described and sketched the flora and fauna that was common to the area they explored. They also described the native inhabitants along the Lewis and Clark Trail, describing their villages, social life and most of all their demeanor. The Native Americans they encountered along the way were presented with ‘Peace Medals’ as shown below.
Meriwether Lewis has been honored with a variety of commemoratives, including coins, military forts, colleges, national monuments, county names, names for wildlife, mountain ranges, plants, cities, postage stamps and even navy vessels.  Meriwether’s partner and friend, William Clark, was highly responsible for the success of the expedition.
We recommend to those who are interested in Meriwether Lewis and the Lewis and Clark Expedition read the book ‘Undaunted Courage’ by Stephen Ambrose.  It is well worth the read and not only is the book entertaining, it will give the reader a thorough understanding of this man and his expedition.
The Lewis Meriwether and Colonel John Zachery Lewis Connection
Great Grandfather Colonel John Zachery Lewis (1669-1725) married Elizabeth Warner in Gloucester, Virginia in 1687.  Their son was Colonel Robert Lewis.
Grandfather Colonel Robert Lewis (1704-1765) was born at Mobjack Bay, Gloucester, Virginia. Robert married Jane Meriwether in Gloucester, Virginia in 1725. Their son was Lieutenant William Lewis.
Father Lieutenant William Lewis (1735-1779) was born at Locust Hill, Albemarle County, Virginia in 1735.  William married Lucy Meriwether at Locust Hill in 1772. Their son was Meriwether Lewis.
The Donald Scott Lee and Colonel John Zachery Lewis Connection
8th Great Grandfather Colonel John Zachery Lewis (1669-1725) married Elizabeth Warner (1672-1720. Daughter was Letitia Elizabeth Lewis.
7th Great Grandmother Letitia Elizabeth Lewis (1687-1716) married John Martin (1683-1756).  Their son was Thomas Martin.
6th Great Grandfather Thomas Martin (1714-1792) was born on January 6, 1714 in St. Anne’s Parish, Albemarle County, Virginia.  Thomas married Anne Moorman in Virginia in 1739.  Their daughter was Mildred Martin.
5th Great Grandmother Mildred Martin (1741-1827) was born in Albemarle County, Virginia in 1741.  Mildred married Micajah Clark in 1776.  Their son was Thomas Martin Clark.
4th Great Grandfather Thomas Martin Clark (1762-1811) was born in Albemarle Parish, Surry County, Virginia on January 13, 1762.  He married Mildred Moorman on December 22, 1782 in Campbell County, Virginia.  Their son was William B. Clark.
4th Great Grandfather Thomas Martin Clark (1762-1811) was born in Albemarle Parish, Surry County, Virginia on January 13, 1762.  He married Mildred Moorman on December 22, 1782 in Campbell County, Virginia.  Their son was William B. Clark.
3rd Great Grandfather William B. Clark (1796-1818) was born in Campbell County, Virginia on November 10, 1796.  William married Eleanor Ellen Pate on April 3, 1811 in Breckinridge County, Kentucky.  Their daughter was Eliza Jane Clark.
2nd Great Grandmother Eliza Jane Clark (1813-1886) was born in Virginia on April 14, 1793.  Eliza married William ‘Billy’ Miller on February 20, 1831 in Breckinridge County, Kentucky.  Their son was Lewis Miller.
Great Grandfather Lewis Miller (1845-1918) was born in Cloverport, Breckinridge County, Kentucky on January 10, 1845.  Lewis married Elizabeth Ann Hendrick on April 10, 1872 in Cloverport, Breckinridge County, Kentucky. Their son was Virgil Scott Miller.
Grandfather Virgil Scott Miller (1888-1956) was born in Cloverport, Breckinridge County, Kentucky on September 8, 1888.  Virgil married Jessie Jewel Heath in January, 1924 in Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California. Their daughter was Marilyn Maxine Miller.
Mother Marilyn Maxine Miller (1924-1996) was born in Long Beach, California on December 1, 1924.  Marilyn married Wendell Orie Lee on September 13, 1942 in Bellflower, Los Angeles County, California.
Marilyn Miller’s son is Donald Scott Lee.
Resources: The Lewis Genealogy; The George Washington Foundation Outreach Bibles
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