Lewis Tappan, 1788–1873, American abolitionist, b. Northampton, Mass. He became a partner in his brother Arthur's New York mercantile house in 1828 and in 1841 founded the first agency for rating commercial credit in the United States. Lewis held important offices in several antislavery societies and was a delegate to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1843. He retired from business in 1849 to devote himself exclusively to humanitarian work, mostly for the abolitionist cause. He wrote a biography of his brother (1870).
See study by B. Wyatt-Brown (1968).