Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949

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William Draper Lewis was born in Philadelphia in 1867. In 1891 he received both a law degree and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He lectured in economics at Haverford College from 1890 to 1896, while also assuming the role of instructor in legal history at the Wharton School in 1891. In 1896 Lewis joined the law department at the University of Pennsylvania as dean of the school and professor of law. Under Lewis' leadership the law school flourished as he recruited new faculty, broadened the curriculum, and strengthened the library's collections. He also raised enough money to move the school ourt of the criminal court buildings in Independence Square and into its own facility and current West Philadelphia location near the rest of the University. Lewis served as Dean until 1914, and remained on the faculty until 1924. In 1923 Lewis became the founding director of the American Law Institute (ALI). The ALI had been conceived by a committee of distinguished lawyers, judges, and legal scholars, among them Elihu Root, George Woodward Wickersham, Harlan Fiske Stone, and Benjamin Nathan Cardozo. The ALI sought to combine the resources of all branches of the profession to produce a massive restatement of the common law. Under Lewis' directorship the ALI completed its first Restatement of the Law. Lewis served as director of the ALI until ill health forced his retirement in 1947. In addition to his teaching responsibilities and stewarship of the ALI, Lewis produced a number of scholarly works including his own edition of Blackstone's Commentaries (1897), casebooks on various topics, and an eight volume collection of essays on Great American Lawyers (1907-1909). With George Warton Pepper he prepared a twenty-three volume Digest of Decisions and Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Law, 1754-1898 (1898-1906). He also served as editor of the American law register. As a family man, educator, administrator, director, and political aspirant (an unsucessful candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania in the Bull Moose Party), Lewis inspired respect and deep affection in those around him. His earnestness, diligence and his warm personality were often mentioned by his colleagues as historically significant factors in the success of his professional projects. Lewis died after a long illness in 1949.

From the description of William Draper Lewis personal correspondence, 1888-1949. (University of Pennsylvania Law Library). WorldCat record id: 223855160

Scholar, law school dean, lawyer and politician; B.S., Haverford College, (1888), LL.B., Ph.D. and LL.D., U. of Pennsylvania, (1891 and hon-1926); faculty, Law School, U. of Pennsylvania (1896-1924) and dean, (1896-1914); chairman, platform committee, national Progressive Party (1912 and 1916); a founder and the director, American Law Institute (1923-1947); notable for his leadership in instituting revolutionary academic, organizational and physical facility improvements during his incumbency which brought the Law School into the first rank of such institutions in the U.S.; regarded as a pioneer in legal research in U.S. and for his scholarly contributions to the American Law Institute restatements of the common law, an authoritative compendium of American common law as it had developed under the decisions of American courts.

From the description of Papers, 1891-1946. (University of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 122614753

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Shulman, Harry, 1903-1955. Harry Shulman papers, 1922-1955 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949. William Draper Lewis personal correspondence, 1888-1949. University of Pennsylvania Law Library, Biddle Law Library
referencedIn Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. Papers, 1840-1961 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Kneedler, Anna Lewis,. Oral history interview, [197-] [sound recording]. Northeast Harbor Library
referencedIn Glueck, Sheldon, 1896-1990. Papers, 1916-1972 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Papers, 1925-1949 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Gordon, Armistead C. (Armistead Churchill), 1897-1953,. Invitations and announcements sent to Atcheon and Virginia Hench for University of Virginia and civic events [manuscript], 1907-1950. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Future of the Institute Records, Bulk, 1929-1948, 1929-1968 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Annual Meeting Records, 1923-1995 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Burlingham, Charles Culp, 1858-1959. Papers, 1876-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Seavey, Warren Abner. Warren Abner Seavey papers. 1926-1964. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Amos, Maurice Sheldon, Sir, 1872-1940. Corrected typescripts of papers delivered at the Harvard Law School "Conference on the future of the common law" (August 19-21, 1936), 1936. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Scott, Austin Wakeman, 1884-1981. Austin Wakeman Scott papers, 1906-1979. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Statement of Essential Human Rights Project Records, 1924-2008 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Thurston, Edward Sampson, 1876-1948. Papers, 1925-1933. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949. Correspondence with Edgar Fahs Smith, 1909-1916. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949. Papers, 1891-1946. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn Thayer, William Roscoe, 1859-1923. Papers, 1762-1927 (bulk 1872-1921) Houghton Library
referencedIn Theodore Roosevelt Collection: Books, pamphlets, periodicals, 18-- - <ongoing> Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Glueck, Sheldon, 1896-1980. Papers, 1916-1972. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Statement of Essential Human Rights Project Records, 1924-2008 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn McNutt, Paul V. (Paul Vories), 1891-1955. Mss., 1899-1955 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Roscoe Pound papers, 1888-1964 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Hart, Henry Melvin, 1904-1969. Papers, 1927-1969 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Maguire, John MacArthur, 1888-. Papers, 1924-1973 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn First Restatement of the Law Records, 1923-1965 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Scott, Austin Wakeman. Austin Wakeman Scott papers. 1906-1979. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949. William Draper Lewis personal correspondence, 1888-1949. University of Pennsylvania Law Library, Biddle Law Library
referencedIn Heft, Adam Jonathan, 1971-. William Draper Lewis and the development of a modern law school at the University of Pennsylvania. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIi, 1897 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Magruder, Calvert, 1893-1968. Papers. 1920-1965 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1963. Papers, 1797-1963 (inclusive), 1897-1963 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Harry Shulman papers, 1922-1955 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn John MacArthur Maguire papers Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. Papers, 1840-1961 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949. TLS 1896 September 4 : Philadelphia to Charles Osborne. Haverford College Library
creatorOf American Law Institute. Correspondence with Johan Thorsten Sellin, 1934-1960. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1965. Papers, 1797-1968 (bulk 1897-1968) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Corbin, Arthur L. (Arthur Linton), 1874-1967. Typescript and manuscript notes relating to the Restatement of the law of contracts. Yale University, Law School Library
referencedIn Nearing, Scott,. Oral History Interview, 1969. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Donald R. Richberg Papers, 1900-1960, (bulk 1953-1958) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Office of the Provost Records. Charles Custis Harrison Administration 1854-1943 (bulk 1891-1927) University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn Robinson, Corinne Roosevelt, 1861-1933. Papers, 1847-1933 Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Law Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith American Law Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Baily, Katherine. person
associatedWith Burlingham, Charles Culp, 1858-1959 person
associatedWith Cope, Anna Brown. person
associatedWith Cope, Francis Reeve, b. 1821. person
associatedWith Cope, Lila D. person
associatedWith Cope, Thomas P. (Thomas Pim), 1768-1854. person
associatedWith Corbin, Arthur L. (Arthur Linton), 1874-1967. person
associatedWith Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1963. person
associatedWith Fairbanks, Mary. person
associatedWith Garrison, Francis Jackson, 1848-1916. person
associatedWith Glueck, Sheldon, 1896-1980. person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Hart, Henry Melvin. person
associatedWith Haverford College corporateBody
associatedWith Heft, Adam Jonathan, 1971- person
correspondedWith Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886- person
associatedWith Kneedler, Anna Lewis. person
associatedWith Kneedler, Howard. person
associatedWith Lewis, Belle Street Wellford. person
associatedWith Lewis, Caroline Mary Cope. person
associatedWith Lewis, Fannie Wilson. person
associatedWith Lewis, Henry. person
associatedWith Lewis, May Erdman. person
associatedWith Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949. person
associatedWith Magruder, Calvert, 1893-1968 person
associatedWith Maguire, John MacArthur, 1888- person
associatedWith MARY ELISABETH DREIER, 1875-1963 person
associatedWith McNutt, Paul V. (Paul Vories), 1891-1955 person
associatedWith Morgan, Edmund Morris, 1878-1966 person
associatedWith Nearing, Scott, person
associatedWith Osborne, Charles. person
associatedWith Pepper, George Wharton, 1867-1961. person
associatedWith Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964 person
correspondedWith Richberg, Donald R. (Donald Randall), 1881-1960 person
correspondedWith Robinson, Corinne Roosevelt, 1861-1933 person
associatedWith Sampson, Alfreda Cope Lewis. person
associatedWith Sampson, June Spong. person
associatedWith Scott, Austin Wakeman, 1884-1981. person
associatedWith Seavey, Warren Abner, 1880-1966 person
associatedWith Shulman, Harry, 1903-1955. person
associatedWith Shumate, Mary B. person
correspondedWith Thayer, William Roscoe, 1859-1923 person
associatedWith Thurston, Edward Sampson, 1876-1948. person
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Law School. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Office of the Provost. corporateBody
associatedWith Wickersham, George W. (George Woodward), 1858-1936. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Subject
Law
Law teachers
Legal literature
Occupation
Deans (in schools)
Law teachers
Lawyers
Activity

Person

Birth 1867

Death 1949

Information

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