Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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LEWIS, Edmonia, sculptor, born near Albany, New York, 4 July, 1845. Her father was a negro and her mother a Chippewa Indian. She was left an orphan at the age of three, and. after living for some time with the Indians, was sent by her brother to school, where she obtained a partial education. She early began to model in clay, and attracted attention by her portrait bust of Robert G. Shaw, colonel of the first negro regiment in the National service, which was exhibited in Boston. In 1865 she went to Rome, where she studied, and has since resided. Her works, which show considerable ideality and talent, have found their chief patronage abroad. Among them are "The Freedwoman" (1867); "Death of Cleopatra," a vividly realistic work, sent to the Centennial exhibition of 1876; "The Old Arrow Maker and his Daughter," "Hagar," "Rebecca at the Well," and portrait busts of Henry W. Longfellow, Charles Sumner, John Brown, and Abraham Lincoln. The last-mentioned work is in the San Jose library, California.
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