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Tappan, Lewis

American, 1788 - 1873

Lewis Tappan was one of eleven children, ten of whom survived to adulthood, of Benjamin (1747-1831) and Sarah Homes Tappan (1748-1826), whose portraits by Gilbert Stuart were commissioned by Lewis and are now in the collection of the NGA (1970.34.2 and 1970.34.3). Benjamin Tappan was gold- and silversmith apprenticed in Boston to William Homes, Sarah's father; the Tappans then settled in Northampton where Benjamin worked as a smith for twenty years and then entered the dry goods business. Lewis began working in a dry goods store at the age of sixteen, and later established himself in that business. In 1827 he moved to New York City where he was a partner in his brother Arthur's importing firm. Arthur and Lewis were both active in the anti-slavery movement; Arthur was a founder of Oberlin College. Lewis published a biography of Arthur in 1871. On 7 September 1813 Lewis married Susan Aspinwall, with whom he had eight children. Lewis married secondly in 1854 to Mrs. Sarah J. Davis. Lewis Tappan's papers are in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, Washington. [Compiled from sources and references recorded on CMS]
Memoir of Mrs. Sarah Tappan. [preface by Lewis Tappan] New York, 1834
Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. 7 vols. New York, 1887-1900. 6:33
Tappan, Daniel Langdon. Tappan-Toppan Genealogy: Ancestors and Descendants of Abraham Toppan of Newbury, Massachusetts, 1606-1672. Arlington, MA, 1915
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