Lewis, Robert (1802 - 1859)
Robert Benjamin Lewis lived in Hallowell and Bath ME and was Maine's pioneering African-American writer, as well as the inventor of the patented oakum picking machine. Lewis's book, Light and Truth, From Ancient and Sacred History is considered the first Afro-centric history published in the U.S (first printing, 1836). It consists in part of short sketches of prominent African-American leaders. Lewis believed blacks would never have equality in the U.S. and he became involved in colonization efforts in Haiti, where he died before the Civil War.
- Light and Truth: Collected from the Bible and Ancient and Modern History Containing the Universal History of the Colored and Indian Race from the Creation of the World to the Present Time, 1844.