Lewis Williams (1782-1842) was born in Surry County, NC, the son of Joseph (1748-1827) and Rebecca Lanier (1757-1832) Williams. He entered the University in 1805, joined the Dialectic Society, and graduated as class salutatorian in 1808. He was employed as a tutor of mathematics from 1810 to 1812, when he earned his MA. After serving a single term in the NC House of Commons (1813-1814), he was elected to the US Congress. Williams was re-elected to 14 successive Congresses, first as a Republican, then as a Whig, before his death in 1842. He died while in office on February 23, 1842, in Washington, DC, and is buried in Panther Creek Cemetery, Surry County, NC (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 6:211).