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PROFILES IN COURAGE: AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN LOWELL
 
Lowell's Old City Hall

In 1825, Walker Lewis married Elizabeth Lovejoy, described as a light skinned mulatto, and they had two daughters and two sons.  In 1826, Lewis was a founding member of Boston's General Colored Association an organization formed "to promote the welfare of the race by working for the destruction of slavery."  By 1844, Lewis was one of very small number of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) "Elders" before a long-term Ban on Blacks in the Priesthood was implemented.

     Peter P. Lewis, Jr. and his wife, Lephia Lovejoy, had three sons and one daughter.  In 1844, an incident occurred in Lowell which created community-wide outrage.  Peter's four children, part of a school group visiting the traveling Chemical Painting Exhibition at Mechanics Hall, were denied entry.  The Lowell newspapers publish strong editorials:
 

We deem it the duty of the press to protest your sort of exclusiveness, having its origin in a narrow-minded prejudice, and to stand up manfully for the rights of the colored citizens when trampled upon in any way.  The proprietor has very much mistaken the public sentiment of Lowell by adopting such a cause; in our public schools, he will see the children of colored parents  sitting side by side with those of white parents, a living evidence of toleration and respect.

     Walker Lewis' commitment to the anti-slavery movement was seen in the Nathaniel Booth Case.  In 1844, Booth, an escaping slave, settled in Lowell and opened a barbershop.  When the 1850 Federal Fugitive Slave Law superseded the 1843 Massachusetts Personal Liberty Law, “one or two slave catches” were seen in Lowell and Booth fled to Canada.  Shortly, he returned to live with the Walker Lewis family.  The Lowell Free Soilers Party also offered protection.  They publicly encouraged the escape slaves seeking

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