Henry Clay Lewis

(963 words)
  • Edwin T. Arnold (Appalachian State University)

Henry Clay Lewis was a frontier doctor who also made significant contributions to the development of early south and southwest humor. Under the pseudonym “Madison Tensas” (taken from the Louisiana parish in which he practiced and the Tensas River that ran through it), Lewis wrote a series of sketches that described Tensas’ life as an orphan, his apprenticeship and training as a medical student, and his experiences as a practicing physician in the swamps of Mississippi and Louisiana in the 1840s, when the region was still largely a wilderness.

Lewis was born on June 26, 1825, in Charleston, South Carolina, the seventh child of David and Rachel Salomon Lewis. The Lewises were Jewish, although Henry never mentioned …

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Arnold, Edwin T.. "Henry Clay Lewis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 June 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2719, accessed 01 August 2014.]