Lewis Stevenson Case 2

Lewis The Political Operative

Letter, Lewis Stevenson to Helen Davis

Unlike his father, son, and grandson, Lewis did not secure electoral success during his career. He did, however, work as a political operative. This letter to his future wife, Helen Davis, finds Lewis in the midst of campaigning for the 1892 Cleveland-Stevenson ticket and sharing details from the campaign trail with Davis. Lewis spent his time working to get out the vote as the president of the Democratic First Voters’ Club of Bloomington. When his father became vice president, Adlai rewarded Lewis’s work by making him his personal secretary.

Later in his career—shortly after serving out an appointment as Illinois Secretary of State—Lewis presented this gavel, crafted from the wooden bench that had been in the old supreme court chamber, to Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court Charles C. Craig. Though he would never again hold office, Stevenson remained tied to politics and positioned his son Adlai II for success.

Background Image: As a loyal party operative from a midwestern state, Lewis gained support at the 1928 Democratic Convention as a potential vice-presidential candidate, exemplified by this Illinois press endorsement. Instead, the convention nominated Joseph Robinson of Arkansas.

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