Lucy Meriwether (Lewis) was an obvious choice for our chapter's namesake. Besides being  the ancestor of five of our founding members, she was the wife of an officer in George Washington’s army and the mother of Meriwether Lewis. Her famous son, along with William Clark,  headed an expedition to explore lands where no white man had ever traveled.

Like her son, Lucy's courage was infallible. Her husband died in 1781, leaving Mrs. Lewis with three small children. With the help of her brother and brother-in-law, she continued to manage "Locust Hill," their 1800 acre plantation in Albemarle County, Virginia.  On one occasion, a group of British officers attempted to confiscate the plantation since it was occupied by a "mere" woman and 3 children. When they confronted her, Lucy jumped to her feet, grabbed a rifle from over the fireplace, and aimed at the officers. “The door is behind you! Open it and go! Never come back. I warn you that I am a good shot.”  The officers left, never to return.

Lucy had proved earlier she knew how to shoot a rifle. With no food in the house for supper, her husband and some friends left one morning to hunt deer. Late that afternoon, one of the servants threw open the parlor door and exclaimed, “Miss Lucy, I see a big deer in the yard.”  Miss Lucy took the rifle from its rack and killed the deer. The hunters later returned empty-handed.

When Mr. Lewis died, their land was sold to cover his debt. Since the proceeds were not enough, his debtors wanted to also take Mrs. Lewis’ land. She appealed to her neighbor, Thomas Jefferson, who intervened for her.

Eventually, Lucy remarried and moved by wagon train with her new husband to Georgia. But, he died after a short time and she returned to Virginia with her children.


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