AUB Libraries Online Exhibits

Edwin Lewis (1839-1907)

Edwin Lewis.png

Portrait of Edwin Lewis

(Service to AUB 1870-1882)

American missionary, physician, author, and educator, Edwin Lewis was born in Madison, Indiana, and went to Wabash College then to Amherst College (BA 1861), where he organized Amherst’s first college orchestra and served as director and violinist. He fought in the American Civil War and later went to study medicine and theology in Boston. Lewis obtained an MD from Harvard in 1867 and a degree in theology from the Union Theological Seminary in 1869.

In 1870, he accepted the post of lecturer of English and Latin and later professor of chemistry and geology at the Syrian Protestant College. He learned Arabic and authored books in different languages. He started a geological collection with Ibrahim Haddad, which they deposited in the SPC museum. He got into controversy with the SPC administration after he gave the 1882 commencement address where he praised the scientific mind of Charles Darwin.

The administration forced Lewis to resign and return to the US, where he specialized in ENT and opened a private practice in Indianapolis. Later, he moved to Washington DC where he became a specialist in the US Pension Bureau. Dr. Edwin Lewis died in 1907.[15]

Lewis wrote two articles in al Muqtataf on different topics, including sea water saltiness and the French scientist Pasteur.

[15] Haddad, F. (1984). The Physician Edwin Rufus Lewis. Studies in the History of Medicine, vol. VIII, no. 1-2 (21-37).