Anatomical Lewis:

Lewis was a slave who was bought for the purpose of “waiting on the Professor of Anatomy” and cleaning up the theatre.1  Members of the University knew him as “Anatomical Lewis”. He lived in a shed behind Pavilion VII and was very much ostracized by white and African American members of the community. Just like how the Anatomical Theatre was on the edge of campus, Anatomical Lewis was on the fringes of society and was “as much an object of fear to the negroes,” and “was regarded very much as an ogre by the children.”2 In the 1860 census, he is shown as being owned by the University of Virginia. It is likely that Lewis knew many of the cadavers, yet still was forced to clean up the subjects because of his status as an African American slave at the University. Unfortunately, we do not know more about Anatomical Lewis because of a lack of documentation.

1. University of Virginia,  Alumni Bulletin IV, no. 1 (May 1897), 24.

2. Ibid. 24,  115.