The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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Lewis, Edward M.

Edward M. Lewis Papers

6 boxes 2.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 003/1 L49

A one time baseball player, Edward M. Lewis was hired as a Professor of Language and Literature at the Massachusetts Agricultural College, serving as the College’s President from 1924 to 1927.

Includes personal and official correspondence primarily while Dean and President of Massachusetts Agricultural College, particularly with President Kenyon Leech Butterfield (1868-1935); administrative memoranda; student records; other records generated while Dean and President of MAC on such subjects as relations of the college with state officials, curriculum, purpose of the college, desirability of compulsory chapel, establishment of Jewish fraternities, and women’s education; also, transcripts of addresses, newspaper clippings, and biographical material. The collection includes nothing relating to Lewis’s baseball or teaching careers.

Biographical Note
1872 Born Dec. 25, 1872 at Machulleth, Wales, the son of John C. and Jane (Davies) Lewis.
1881 Family migrates to Utica, N.Y.
1891-1893 Student at Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio.
1893-1896 Student at Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.
1896 B.A., Williams College. Marriage to Margaret H. Williams, daughter of Richard P. Williams, at Utica, N.Y., on July 1, 1896.
1896-1901 Postgraduate courses at Harvard University, Emerson College and Curry School; pitcher for Boston Nationals (now Atlanta Braves) 1896-1900, and Boston Americans (now the Red Sox), 1901; coach, Harvard College Baseball team.
1899 A.M., Williams College.
1901-1903 Instructor in elocution, Columbia University.
1903-1911 Instructor and Assistant Professor of public speaking and oratory, Williams College; teacher of public speaking at Yale Divinity School from time to time.
1910 Unsuccessful Democratic candidate for U. S. House of Representatives, First Massachusetts District.
1911 Assistant Professor of English and Assistant Dean, Massachusetts Agricultural College.
1912 Associate Dean and Professor of Literature.
1913-1914 Acting President in Butterfield’s absence from June to following May.
1913 Chairman, State Democratic Convention.
1913-1927 Head, Dept. of Languages and Literature.
1914 Unsuccessful Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Second Massachusetts District.
1914-1926 Dean of the College, succeeding George F. Mills.
1918-1919 Acting President in Butterfield’s absence from November to following June.
1919-1927 Acting Head and Head of Division of Humanities.
1921-1922 Acting President in Butterfield’s absence from August to following February.
1922-1923 On leave of absence from October through following March.
1924 Named Acting President in June, following Butterfield’s resignation.
1926 Named President in June. William L. Machmer becomes Dean.
1927 Resigns Presidency in May to become President of University of New Hampshire, 1927-1936; honorary LL.D’s, Amherst College and MAC.
1929 Honorary LL.D., Marietta College; Litt. D., Rhode Island State College.
1931 Honorary LL.D., Northeastern University.
1932 Honorary LL.D., Williams College.
1936 Died on May 23, 1936 at Durham, N.H.; survived by widow, two sons and a daughter.
Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Edward M. Lewis Papers, 1910-1936, relate primarily to his roles as an academic administrator at the Massachusetts Agricultural College, where he was Dean for thirteen years, several times Acting President during and after Kenyon L. Butterfield’s presidency, and, for one year, President. Among the papers are memoranda and correspondence with other officials of the College, especially with President Butterfield; correspondence with State officials and legislators, with students and alumni, with high school headmasters, and with private individuals; reports from faculty members, and papers relating to some College committees and Student Life committees, both central to the responsibilities of the Dean, along with some student records created in the office of the Dean.

Before becoming President, during his seventeen years at the College, Lewis served as a professor, department and division head, assistant dean, and dean. As Dean, he held the second most responsible office on campus, and had general charge of the College’s instructional program and matters incidental to it. Lewis was three times Acting President when President Butterfield was on extended leaves of absence, and in 1920 he served as the Board of Trustees’ agent with the administrative and legislative authorities of the State when it relieved Butterfield of that role. And finally, Lewis served from 1924 to 1926 as Acting President following Butterfield’s resignation, and was President in his own right during 1926-27. He resigned for many of the same reasons that had led to Butterfield’s departure — the issue of State House control — and moved to the presidency of the University of New Hampshire.

The collection includes nothing relating to Lewis’ family, his long career as a teacher, or his shorter one as a baseball player before coming to MAC. Otherwise, the papers appear to be representative of those created in the execution of his commissions at the College, and articulate his concerns as one of its officials.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Edward M. Lewis Papers (RG 3/1). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

The Edward M. Lewis Papers originated primarily from two sources: the standing files in the Archives before 1972, (which provided the bulk of the materials now in the Subject Files of Series 1 and in the Dean’s Papers of Series 2) and the two lots of Secretary’s Papers covering presidencies from 1908 through 1954 (discussed more fully in the Scope and Contents of the inventory for the Butterfield Papers). The latter source provided nearly all the materials in the Presidential Administrative Papers of Series 3.

Processing Information

Processed by W. B. Cook, Jr., 1982.

Additional Information

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Series Descriptions
0.25 linear feet (1 box)

The Subject Files document the period during which Lewis was a member of the faculty of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, Head of Department of Language and Literature and of Division of Humanities, and Assistant Dean and Dean (except while he was Acting President during Butterfield’s absences). The series consist of some personal correspondence, typescripts of a number of Lewis’ addresses on campus and around the state, newspaper clippings and two folders of biographical items.

1.0 linear feet (2 boxes)
Scope and content:

This series is dominated by Lewis’ papers as Dean of the College, in which position he functioned as manager of its instructional program and chief monitor of all student academic and nonacademic activities.

The Dean’s Papers include administrative memoranda, a chronological file of communications to Lewis together with carbon copies of many of his replies. Most of the exchanges were with Butterfield, but on occasion other members of the College staff were involved, especially those instructors who advised students. Some of Lewis’ papers relating to matters before the Course of Study Committee are here.

The Student Life files include memoranda and correspondence concerning the academic and extra-curricular activities of students, including papers on eligibility; fraternities, notably with regard to allowing Jewish fraternities; and a few papers related to the Student Life Committee.

Two groups of student records created in the Dean’s office have survived. One, a set of “Student Problem Cards,” begins with entries from 1910, a year before Lewis arrived. They record a variety of matters dealing with individual students, such as excused absences from classes (at that time the Dean, not the course instructors, adjusted grades for unexcused absences). The second set of records comprises individual students’ “Work and Character Records,” 1915-1920, broad assessments of the “Quality” of individuals made by instructors on completion of their classroom contacts with each student.

Other papers in the series of Dean’s Papers include materials on class monitors, correspondence of the Dean with individuals who were not part of the College community, material on the course of study, including entrance requirements, specific courses, general requirements, and papers on the system of final examination, on the Graduate School, various departments and divisions, and scholarships and prizes.

Related material:

Complementary material is found in Record Group 6/1, the files of Dean William L. Machmer, Lewis’ assistant and successor. As Dean, Lewis served on several of the important committees of the College, the minutes and papers for which are in Record Group 40/A2, such as the Committees on Course of Study and on Employment (sometimes called Student Labor). He served as well on the College’s senior management committee (called the Cabinet) the papers of which are located in Record Group 3/12.

1.25 linear feet (3 boxes)

This series contains Lewis’ correspondence with President Butterfield during his service as Acting President in the latter’s absences, and papers generated during Lewis’ administration from 1924 to 1927.

The administrative problems on campus and the political problems associated with the State House in Boston faced by Butterfield and Lewis were similar. The administrative files of both were managed by the same man, Secretary of the College Ralph J. Watts, until his resignation in 1926, and nearly all the materials in this series were drawn from the Secretary’s papers. The Secretary’s office held the administrative papers of several presidents, from Butterfield (1908-1924) into the term of Baker (1933-1947) as essentially one large file, organized around the issues the College dealt with. The similarities between the files of Presidents Butterfield and Lewis are reinforced by the nature of the fourteen-year association of the two men. Lewis’ training was that of a classicist and rhetorician rather than an agriculturist and social scientist; he did not continue Butterfield’s frequent surveys and analyses of the organization of the institution. The arrangement of the papers in this series indicates nonetheless their similarities to Butterfield’s MAC Administrative Papers.

Lewis served as Acting President from June 1913 to May 1914 and from November 1918 to June 1919. He was the agent of the Board of Trustees for dealing with the State’s administrative and legislative authorities in 1920, and he served again as Acting President in Butterfield’s absence from August 1921 to February 1922. Correspondence between Butterfield and Lewis during each of these commissions, except the last, survive, and are filed at the head of the series under headings beginning with “Acting…”. The main administrative papers of the College for each of these interludes are to be found among Butterfield’s MAC Administrative Papers.

The remainder of the papers in this series document Lewis’ administration following Butterfield’s resignation in 1924. He served as Acting President during 1924 to 1926 and as President from 1926 until he resigned in 1927. Included in this series are papers on administrative planning, admissions and attendance, alumni affairs, associations (educational or agricultural), buildings and grounds, conferences (on campus), correspondence, course of study, the departments and divisions of the College, the Experiment Station, the Extension Set-vice, faculty committees, farmers’ organizations, the Massachusetts State Department of Education, its Division of Administration and Finance, proposed state legislation (other than budgetary), personnel, public relations, the purpose of the College, Lewis’ resignation, the Schedule Committee, scholarships, prizes and trust funds, Student activities and life, student matters, the appointment of President Thatcher, reports to the U.S. Bureau of Education, and materials on U.S. Government funds and on the Women’s Program.

Some of the highlights of this series are materials on “State House Control,” regarding problems created by the relationship between the College and State authorities following the reorganization of the state government in 1919 which resulted fro
m the subordination of the College to the State Dept. of Education. These problems led to Butterfield’s resignation, and then to Lewis’, and they were to plaque the institution into the 1960’s. Papers bearing on this issue are found throughout the files, but especially in folders 4 & 5, Administrative Planning, and in folders with “Massachusetts (State)” headings, where the treatment of College officials by the Division of Administration and Finance in regard to printing Experiment Station and Extension Service publications is set out, and where the 1925 survey of how other states controlled expenditures of their funds appropriated to colleges and universities is found. Other outstanding matters include the resolution of the long standing problem of admitting to the College students from agricultural vocational high schools, folders 6 and 7, and the transgressions and subsequent transfer of Captain Daniel Keane, folder 35.

Contents List
Series 1. Subject files
0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Box 1:1
Box 1:2
Box 1:3
Box 1:4
Box 1:5
Biographical and Memorabilia
Box 1:6
Biographical: Obituaries and Memorials
Box 1:7
Correspondence, Personal
Box 1:8
Newspaper Clippings
Box 1:9
Newspaper Clippings
Box 1:10
Series 2. Dean’s Records
1.0 linear feet (2 boxes)
Administrative Memoranda
1914-1915, 1915-1916
Box 2:1
Administrative Memoranda
Box 2:2
Administrative Memoranda
Box 2:3
Administrative Memoranda
Box 2:4
Administrative Memoranda
Box 2:5
Administrative Memoranda
Box 2:6
Administrative Memoranda
Box 2:7
Administrative Memoranda
Box 2:8
Associations-National Collegiate Athletic Ass.
1920, 1924
Box 2:9
Class Monitors and Instructors
1916, 1918-1920
Box 2:10
Committees: Miscellaneous
Box 2:11
1921-1924, 1926
Box 2:12
Course of Study
Box 2:13
Course of Study
Box 2:14
Course of Study-4 Term Year
Box 2:15
Final Examination Survey
Box 2:16
Graduate School
Box 2:17
Humanities Division
Box 2:18
Languages and Literature Dept.
Box 2:19
Miscellaneous Memoranda and Correspondence
Box 2:20
Scholarships and Prizes
Box 2:21
Student Life Committee
Box 2:22
Student Life: Eligibility
Box 2:23
Student Life-Fraternities (General)
Box 2:24
Student Life-Fraternities (Jewish)
Box 2:25
Student Life: Fraternities (Jewish)
Box 2:26
Student Life-General
Box 2:27
Student Records: Problem Cards, A-L
Box 3:28
Student Records: Problem Cards, M-Y
Box 3:29
Student Records: Work and Character-General
Box 3:30
Student Records: Work and Character-Summaries
Box 3:31
Student Records: Work and Character A-F
Box 3:32
Student Records: Work and Character G-L
Box 3:33
Student Records: Work and Character M-Z
Box 3:34
Student Records: Work and Character A-E
Box 3:35
Student Records: Work and Character F-R
Box 3:36
Student Records: Work and Character S-Z
Box 3:37
Student Records: Work and Character A-G
Box 3:38
Student Records: Work and Character H-L
Box 3:39
Student Records: Work and Character M-W
Box 3:40
Student Records: Work and Character A-H
Box 3:41
Student Records: Work and Character J-W
Box 3:42
Series 3. Presidential Administrative Records
1.25 linear feet (3 boxes)
Acting President
Box 4:1
Acting President
Box 4:2
Acting for the President
Box 4:3
Administrative Planning (General)
Box 4:4
Administrative Planning-State House Control
1924-1927, n.d.
Box 4:5
Admissions and Attendance-County Agri. Schools
Box 4:6
Admissions and Attendance-County Agri. Schools
Box 4:7
Box 4:8
Associations- Mass. Schoolmasters’ Club
Box 4:9
Associations-New England Council on Marketing and Food Supply
Box 4:10
Buildings and Grounds
Box 4:11
Conferences-Off Campus Groups
Box 4:12
Conferences-Summer Schools
Box 4:13
Box 4:14
Course of Study
Box 4:15
Course of Study-Agri. Curriculum
1924-1925, n.d.
Box 4:16
Departments and Divisions-Agri.
Box 4:17
Departments and Divisions-Military
1925, n.d.
Box 4:18
Experiment Station
Box 4:19
Extension Service
Box 4:20
Faculty Committees-General
Box 4:21
Farmers’ Organizations
Box 4:22
Massachusetts. Dept. of Education
Box 4:23
Massachusetts. Div. of Administration and Finance General
Box 5:24
Massachusetts. Div. of Administration and Finance Printing
Box 5:25
Massachusetts. Div. of Administration and Finance Printing
Box 5:26
Massachusetts. Div. of Administration and Finance Printing
1926, n.d.
Box 5:27
Massachusetts. Legislation
1924-1925, n.d.
Box 5:28
Massachusetts. Legislation (F-H Smith Correspondence)
Box 5:29
Massachusetts. Legislation
1925-1926, n.d.
Box 5:30
Massachusetts. Legislation-State Control Survey- General A-M
Box 5:31
Massachusetts. Legislation-State Control Survey N-W
Box 5:32
1925-1932, n.d.
Box 5:33
Personnel-Hasbrouck Death
Box 5:34
Personnel-Keane Case
1925-1926, n.d.
Box 5:35
Personnel-Union Activities
1925, n.d.
Box 5:36
Public Relations
1925-1927, n.d.
Box 5:37
Purpose of the College
1926-1927, n.d.
Box 5:38
1921-1927, n.d.
Box 5:39
Schedule committee
Box 5:40
Scholarships, Prizes and Trust Funds-General
Box 5:41
Scholarships, Prizes and Trust Funds- Mass. Society for Promoting Agriculture
Box 5:42
Student Activities and Student Life
Box 6:43
Student Matters-Chapel Speakers
Box 6:44
Student Matters-Senior Committee on Curriculum. Report
Box 6:45
Thatcher Appointment
1927, n.d.
Box 6:46
Tuition and Fees
1924-1925, n.d.
Box 6:47
U.S. Bureau of Education. Reports
Box 6:48
U.S. Funds-Purnell (Experiment Station)
1921-1925, n.d.
Box 6:49
U.S. Funds-Purnell (Experiment Station)
Box 6:50
U.S. Funds-Purnell (Experiment Station)
1925-1926, n.d.
Box 6:51
Women’s’ Program
Box 6:52


Massachusetts Agricultural College. FacultyMassachusetts Agricultural College. President


Lewis, Edward M