About Reuben Lewis
Reuben Lewis (1777-1844) was the younger brother of Meriwether Lewis. He traveled west when his brother became the Governor of Louisiana in 1807. He served as an Indian agent among the Mandans and Cherokees until he returned to Albemarle in 1820. He married Mildred Dabney on December 18, 1822, and the couple left no children.
He was only two years of age when his father died in 1779. After his mother’s marriage to Capt. John Marks, he accompanied his parents and brother Meriwether (age nine) in 1784 to the Broad River community in Georgia. It is thought that his sister Jane (age fourteen) did not go with them as she was about to married to Edmund Anderson the next year. Along with the Marks’ family, many relatives accompanied them on their long trek through North Carolina and onto their new home. Along with Meriwether, Reuben enjoyed the fishing and hunting opportunities in Georgia, but as with Meriwether, he was eventually sent back to Albemarle County to further his education. He studied with the noted teacher, Rev. Mr. Robertson. In a 1791 letter to his mother, Meriwether wrote that he was “sorry to hear that his brother was not in school” and that he “did not want that postponed.” Another source, Peachy Ridgeway Gilmer, refers to Rev. John Robertson as “a Scotchman of good, classical learning, but a sot.” (Speed & Minor, p.73)
Reuben started west to St. Louis with his brother, Meriwether, in 1807, arriving in March, 1808. There he took a major role in fur trading expeditions up the Missouri River (Dahl, p. 3). From 1810 to 1820, he was a government agent to the Mandan, Osage and Cherokee Indians on the Arkansas River. He returned to Virginia where he handled many of the families’ land sales and other legal affairs. From letters, it appears that Reuben and his half-brother, John Hastings Marks, settled Meriwether Lewis’ estate and that Reuben then settled the estate of John Hastings Marks.
Dr. Ruben Lewis's Timeline
February 14, 1777
Locust Hill, Middleses, Virginia
December 18, 1822
February 17, 1844
"Valley Point", Albermarle Co., VA