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#Tweet Edmonia Lewis's biographer @andthatrhymeswi
Edmonia Lewis's sworn 1865 application for a passport states her vital statistics:
born in Greenbush, NY, on or about the 4th of July 1844, etc. She probably
prepared it months before she signed it, creating a small but easily resolved
discrepancy between the age of 20 and her birthday in July, which preceded her
actual signing. Greenbush (now Rensselaer) NY did not officially record births
until the 1870s. Similarly, an 1865 Massachusetts census stipulates age 20 as
of May, suggeting to some an 1845 birth.
Note her small stature, only four feet tall.
Her sponsor, merchant Parry Kennard, wrote in the margin, "M. Edmonia
Lewis is a black girl sent by subscription to Italy having displayed great
talent as a sculptor."
This is Figure 8 in The Indomitable Spirit of Edmonia Lewis, A Narrative Biography.
Copyright 2012, it may be reproduced with attribution.