Lewis Meacham

This article was written by Jack Bales

Lewis Henry Meacham’s place in baseball history is linked to that of his friend, Chicagoan William Hulbert (1832–82).1 In 1870, Hulbert purchased a share of stock in the city’s newly formed White Stockings organization (a team now known as the Chicago Cubs).2 Five years later he was elected president of the Chicago Base Ball Association, and he soon became the principal force behind the 1876 founding of the National League.3 Among the persons assisting him in this endeavor was Lewis Meacham, a sports reporter for the Chicago Daily Tribune.4

Following a journalism practice that was customary at the time, none of Meacham’s articles included a byline.5 Although authorship cannot be proven, baseball historians credit him with the Tribune’s baseball articles, as do contemporary readers. This anonymity undoubtedly contributes to why little is known about Meacham himself. He is generally referred to as Hulbert’s representative and “mouthpiece,” although he was also a well-known journalist and baseball authority in his own right.6 When he died unexpectedly in 1878 at just age 32, five organizations released laudatory resolutions in his honor.7

Perhaps a reason for the dearth of biographical information is because much of what is readily available is complex and contradictory. Just cursory research turns up assorted birth dates and names, two birthplaces, and two burial locations. Meacham fought in the Civil War under an alias, and biographical works differ as to his term of service and his military rank.8 Fortunately, an examination of archival and other primary sources has cleared up much of the mystery surrounding the life of one of the National League’s pioneer figures.

Early Years

The Meacham family was a prominent one in Vermont. James Meacham was born in 1810 in Rutland, Vermont, was graduated from Middlebury College, and after seminary studies was ordained as a Congregational minister. He served as pastor of the New Haven, Vermont, Congregational Church until 1846. He was subsequently elected to Congress as a member of the Whig party and served from 1849 until his death in 1856.9 Meacham’s first wife, Caroline, died in childbirth in 1843, and their son, Elias, lived just 15 months. James married Mary Gifford in early 1845 and they had two children, Lewis and Emma.10

Lewis Meacham was born in New Haven, Vermont, on March 8, 1846. He attended Phillips Academy preparatory school in Andover, Massachusetts, and in 1863 enrolled in Middlebury College. From August 1864 to July 1865 Meacham served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and he was back at Middlebury from 1865 to 1867.11 In the fall he spent part of his junior year at Amherst College; he did not graduate, but is listed in college directories as a non-graduate of the class of 1869.12 He taught mathematics for five weeks in early 1868 at Union Christian College in Merom, Indiana.13

Meacham moved to Chicago, where he worked briefly for a “Spiritualist newspaper.” He began his journalism career in earnest in 1869 as a proofreader on the Chicago Times. He stayed with the Times only briefly before moving on to the city’s Tribune, where he was a proofreader and then a reporter.14 Meacham undoubtedly knew Tribune executive Joseph Medill; following Medill’s election as mayor of Chicago a few weeks after the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871, Meacham joined his staff, for about a year, as his private secretary.15

In the fall of 1872, Meacham inherited “a small fortune,” according to Chicago’s Inter Ocean newspaper, but invested it in two unsuccessful business enterprises.16 He returned to journalism, and by December 1873 he was editor of Vermont’s Rutland Daily Herald. He also joined a newly organized local baseball club and was elected secretary.17

The Chicago Daily Tribune and Baseball

Meacham resigned from the Daily Herald in late 1874; the following spring, he returned to Chicago and the Tribune.18 By the summer he was the paper’s baseball reporter and was soon promoted to sporting editor.19 Meacham had apparently now found his niche, for as one journalist observed, he seemed “to have a special aptitude for that sort of work, doing it unusually well.”20

The comments were not all praise, however. On October 1, 1875, he went from the sidelines to the ball field in a game between the Chicago White Stockings and the St. Louis Brown Stockings. An umpire was not available, and as reported by the St. Louis Republican, “Mr. Meacham of the Chicago Tribune was recommended as one in every way qualified and accepted.” Unfortunately, “he proved to be the worst we have ever seen,” and the approximately 300 spectators on the Chicago grounds “were fully as much disgusted with Mr. Meacham’s laughable errors as the players of both nines were.” In the Tribune’s write-up of the Chicago 13-9 victory, the journalist admitted that although the umpiring “lacked any intention of unfairness, [it] was probably wanting in accuracy on one, two, or even more, occasions.”21

Baseball’s professional teams at this time belonged to the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, which was formed in 1871. There was no central leadership, however, and gambling and rowdy player behavior were common.22 William Hulbert saw firsthand that the organization could not adequately govern the teams and the players, and in 1875 he spearheaded the formation of a new administrative body, the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs.23 Helping to promote the idea was his friend Lewis Meacham, and on October 24, the Chicago Daily Tribune ran a lengthy article on what needed to be done to “save” baseball. Because the piece reflects Hulbert’s thoughts on the subject, sports historians credit the journalist as the public voice of the White Stockings president; in fact, even the Tribune’s 1882 obituary of Hulbert acknowledged that he and Meacham “matured the plan of the National League.”24

Baseball’s new administrative organization was formally established on February 2, 1876.25 The Tribune’s sporting editor stayed informed about game developments, especially those concerning the National League, by conferring with William Hulbert and other knowledgeable baseball men. Later that month, he interviewed “one of the gentlemen” instrumental in the league’s formation “to gather for the public a somewhat more detailed account of the objects and effects of the new movement than had been presented in this or any other paper which had mentioned the matter.”26

Meacham’s reputation grew, and in the pages of the Tribune he not only provided game-day accounts, analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of players, and answered fans’ questions, but also examined—and expounded on—a variety of timely baseball topics.27

The importance of teams playing all of their games was one such subject.28 A club’s income was largely based on ticket sales, with home teams generally keeping two-thirds of the gate receipts.29 Meacham and Hulbert were incensed when the Philadelphia Athletics hosted clubs at home during the early months of the National League’s first year, but to save on travel expenses later on in the season, refused to play Chicago and other midwestern teams on those clubs’ grounds. When Philadelphia failed to take its western road trips and complete its schedule, those teams were denied their fair shares of the profits.30

A clearly irate Meacham protested that the Athletics club “took two-thirds of the receipts” playing games on its ball field, “with the express promise to return those games. Every cent that it took in that way was as clearly stolen as if the management had waylaid the visiting managers and garroted them.” The reporter’s no-holds-barred tirade about the “swindling” Athletics prompted a reader to exclaim, “I am very glad that Lewis Meacham has had the nerve to expose the rascality that has been going on in Philadelphia.”31

In December 1876, Meacham, Hulbert, and Albert Spalding—who was Chicago’s player, manager, and club secretary—attended the National League’s first convention in Cleveland. Like the Athletics, the New York Mutuals had also failed to finish out the season, and the three men were undoubtedly pleased when both clubs were summarily expelled from the league for refusing to honor their scheduled commitments.32

Meacham may have been William Hulbert’s so-called “mouthpiece,” but he certainly did not hesitate to speak his own mind. Furthermore, he could be quite critical, whether it was about how well players did their jobs on the baseball field or even how well Hulbert did his as the Chicago club president. For example, Meacham attributed an embarrassing 9-2 Chicago loss to “loose fielding and scandalously weak batting,” though the latter, he dryly added, had been so noticeable during the season that “it excited no special comment.”33 In another instance, he once complained that the team’s top official was less than forthright when reporters asked him questions about the White Stockings. “Mr. President Hulbert,” Meacham wrote with a touch of testiness, “while affable, is unsatisfactory, and any attempt to get an answer to a question from him about the future policy of the organization, of which he is the only visible head, is as fruitless as it would be to attempt to perceive a prominent bone in his well-fed body.”34

Fans and members of the baseball fraternity appreciated Meacham’s frankness and valued his baseball acumen. He was an official league scorekeeper and attended games around the country. Although he tried his hand at umpiring only the one time in Chicago, he did not hesitate to help officials when they were confronted with difficult decisions on the field. For instance, once while the White Stockings were playing a series against the Grays in Providence, Meacham went to nearby Boston to see a game between the National League team and the Indianapolis Blues. As reported in the Boston Globe, Boston player Jim O’Rourke “sent a grounder to third, which struck the bag and rolled outside of the foul line.” O’Rourke naturally claimed it was a hit, while the Indianapolis team said it was a foul. “After calling in the aid of Mr. Meacham of the Chicago Tribune, and a reference to the rules, the umpire finally called it a base hit.”35

Meacham was also a “reference” on baseball statistics, and he supplied detailed figures to a number of publications besides the Tribune, including the New York Clipper, a well-known entertainment and sports publication. A reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer observed that Meacham gave Albert Spalding “invaluable aid in making up the averages of the non-League clubs” that appeared in Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide, and he “furnished much of the fund of information which the book contains.” (The 1878 edition bears Spalding’s and Meacham’s names as co-editors.) The Cincinnati sportswriter firmly asserted that “every base-ball town or city in the country learned to know ‘Meacham.’”36

Lewis Meacham did not limit his writing to just baseball. He had, according to one observer, “special qualifications for general newspaper work, a keen instinct for what constitutes news, and an unwearied persistency in seeking and finding it.”37 His skills as an investigative journalist were particularly in evidence in late 1877, a period in which he wrote a series of articles exposing unscrupulous confidence men in Chicago. On the morning of January 10, 1878, Meacham was in a city courtroom watching a hearing that involved one of these individuals, Joe P. Koons, whom he had previously characterized as “a beat, a bilk, and a swindler.” After the court adjourned, Meacham started to leave the room with Justice John C. Haines, when, as the St. Louis Globe-Democrat reported, Koons met them at the door:

Meacham knew he was in for it, and put himself upon the defensive, but being a very large man, weighing some 230 pounds, it took him a considerable time to square around, and, before he could prevent it, Koons had struck him several times across the face with a cowhide. Meacham by this time was dancing mad, and he proceeded to knock Koons down, and would have sat upon him were it not that he tripped and fell. Both men floundered on the floor for a few seconds, when they were lifted by Justice Haines and his assistants. Koons then, in a most cowardly manner, drew a revolver and attempted to shoot Meacham, but before he had time to level the weapon, his hands were secured, and it was taken away from him.38

Justice Haines immediately called his court to order, made out a warrant, and sent Koons to the county jail on the charge of assault with intent to kill.39

Despite Meacham’s busy (and, apparently, dangerous) schedule, he found time to relax and mingle with friends. He was a member of the “Sons of Vermont,” a social group he and some 60 other Chicago men with roots in Vermont had formed in early 1877. Its object was “the social improvement of its members and a more cordial union of interests and sympathy among the natives of Vermont who have removed to Illinois.” Members held meetings, presented talks, and enjoyed lively discussions.40

An Untimely Demise

As one Chicago newspaper remarked, Meacham was now “in the very prime of manhood,” though he did have some health problems, including an “affection of the bowels.” On Tuesday morning, October 1, 1878, while working on an assignment, he began to feel ill. He went home, but soon felt sharp pains in his stomach. His doctor gave him morphine pills and hypodermic injections, and he felt better for the rest of the day and evening. At about 10:30 the next morning, he drank a glass of wine, but then fell back upon his bed in his room on Dearborn Street in Chicago and died. He was just 32 years old.41

The cause of death was biliary colic. This is an ache in the abdomen, which occurs when a gallstone blocks the bile duct, the tube that drains bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine. This can lead to serious complications, such as an infection in the gallbladder, in the bile duct, or in the liver. Meacham’s attending physician said that his death was accelerated by heart disease.42

Meacham was buried in Chicago’s Oak Woods Cemetery, with William Hulbert, Albert Spalding, four Chicago newspaper reporters, and two persons representing the Sons of Vermont serving as pallbearers. Meacham, who never married, was survived by his mother, Mary Gifford Meacham; his sister, Emma Priscilla Meacham; and a cousin, Homer N. Hibbard, a well-known Chicago attorney. The flag on the Chicago baseball grounds was lowered to half-mast in his memory, and his seat in the reporters’ stand was decorated in mourning, as was his scorekeeper’s seat. All of the players during the Chicago-Milwaukee exhibition game on October 2 wore strips of ribbon around their right arms to show their respect.43

Also paying their respects by passing resolutions in Meacham’s honor were the Chicago baseball club (a tribute that Spalding reprinted in the 1879 edition of his Base Ball Guide), the National League, his newspaper colleagues, an organization of Union Civil War veterans, and the Sons of Vermont. The National League particularly valued Meacham’s “good works and words in the interest of the national sport, and recognize in his death a sore loss to the fraternity.”44

Biographical Errors and Contradictions

Upon Meacham’s passing, a newspaper reporter in his home state of Vermont cryptically wrote that “like many another brilliant man, he was somewhat erratic.”45 Although the journalist did not elaborate, perhaps he had Meacham’s Civil War service in mind. Obituaries and even college directories affirm that Meacham enlisted as a private in the Union Army, served for three years, and was discharged as a first lieutenant.46

Military records, however, tell a different story. Meacham enlisted under the name of “Lewis M. Shattuck” on August 2, 1864, to serve for three years. (One George Shattuck was a college classmate at Middlebury and Amherst.) Meacham was originally in the 186th New York Infantry Regiment, and in late May of 1865, he was transferred to New York’s 79th Infantry, also known as the Highlanders. He was promoted to corporal on June 1, 1865, and he and his company were mustered out on July 14, 1865.47

Meacham was a 20-year-old student at Middlebury College in November 1866 when he requested a $100 Civil War bounty. A bounty equalization act approved in July provided this sum to all honorably discharged solders who had served for at least three years. (Apparently no one noticed—or cared—that he was actually in the service for less than one year.) Also signing the “Application of Discharged Soldier for Additional Bounty” as a witness was his uncle, Henry O. Gifford, who attested that he knew Meacham “to be the same person who enlisted . . . as Lewis M. Shattuck.”48

It is not known why Meacham joined the army under an alias, and it is doubtful that he actually received a promotion to lieutenant. Family lore suggests that he ran away from his Vermont home and enlisted out of state. His father, James, was a member of Congress, and James’s brother, Lewis, was a Vermont state senator. This very politically connected family, perhaps concerned about young Lewis’s welfare, could have used their contacts and influence to prevent him from joining up in Vermont. His running away to enlist and changing his name, therefore, seems quite plausible. Perhaps, too, he was tired of living in his family’s large shadow, and he wanted to drop his surname and set out on his own.49

The questions surrounding Meacham’s name go beyond just his Civil War alias. It is no secret that his middle name is Henry, the name of his maternal uncle, but after Lewis died, the middle initials of “B,” “E,” and “S” mysteriously started showing up in his death notices. (A professional genealogist attributes such mistakes to “sloppy reporting” on the part of the obituary writers.)50 Meacham’s death certificate, as well, contains various errors; it records his name as “Lewis S. Meacham,” gives his age not as 32 but 33 (the same age was engraved on his casket plate), and states that he was born in Middlebury, Vermont, rather than New Haven.51

Unfortunately, misinformation about Meacham has persisted through the years, even appearing in standard baseball reference works. In late 2023, administrators at Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference.com were notified that their Meacham entries provided a full name of “Lewis S. Meacham,” along with an incorrect birthdate of March 4, 1846 (he was born on March 8). They replied that each record would be corrected.52 One of Meacham’s two listings in the popular website “Find a Grave” is for “Lewis B. Meacham” and posts his birthdate as simply “1845.” The other entry, for “Lewis Henry Meacham,” states that he was buried not in Chicago, but in Middlebury.53

Reference works and genealogy resources verify Meacham’s name, birthdate, and place of birth. A staff member at the Vermont Genealogy Library in Essex Junction explained that part of the biographical confusion stems from the fact that “the period from roughly 1800 to 1856 in Vermont (and all of New England) is when recording vital events was at its lowest point.” In addition, as countless researchers know from painful experience, original sources can be considerably less than reliable.54

Cemetery resources are not necessarily authoritative, either. The names of Lewis Meacham; his parents, James and Mary Gifford Meacham; and his mother’s sister, Emma Gifford Fletcher, are carved on the family memorial in West Cemetery in Middlebury, Vermont. Family members intended to move Lewis’s body from Chicago to Middlebury in late 1878.55 A local archivist emphasized, however, that even though his name is included in the West Cemetery index, that does not guarantee he was actually reinterred in the graveyard. (In fact, Emma’s name is not even listed in the index.)56

A staff member at the Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago confirmed Meacham’s burial and pinpointed the location of the grave.57 Unfortunately, the plot is in an older section of the cemetery where most of the flat grave markers have been covered up by soil and Mother Nature over the years and are no longer visible.58


When William Hulbert began deliberating how a new governing organization could replace baseball’s National Association, he particularly wanted input from the clubs in the Midwest. He had long felt that the association, which was dominated by eastern teams, held “ridiculous airs of ownership of the game,” as the Tribune phrased it, and was biased against the teams out to the west.59

In early 1875, he quietly wrote C. Orrick Bishop, a member of the board of directors of the St. Louis Brown Stockings, about his ideas for a new league and how Lewis Meacham and the Tribune supported those plans. “I see no great objection to giving papers friendly to us an inside view,” Hulbert told him. He added that “I am sure we can trust Meacham and the Tribune.”60

Hulbert, Albert Spalding, and the various club managers undoubtedly could trust Meacham, but as this essay illustrates, his brief career also extended beyond his relationships with these baseball pioneers and the National League. “There is scarcely a reader of base-ball news out who has [not] heard of Meacham,” a sportswriter declared with some hyperbole after his death.61

Meacham’s presence in baseball circles notwithstanding, when on the job he still functioned as Hulbert’s “mouthpiece.” Meacham was not one to rock the National League’s boat, and the Tribune’s articles reflect the league’s philosophy and policies. But as one baseball historian points out, the sportswriter had also been “one of the key players in Hulbert’s plan to establish a new association.” Even outside the newspaper’s offices, Meacham worked diligently to promote his favorite sport, and his role in early baseball history should not be forgotten.62



This story was reviewed by Bill Lamb and Rory Costello and fact-checked by Larry DeFillipo.



Abbreviations in notes:

CDT: Chicago Daily Tribune

IO: Inter Ocean (Chicago)

LM: Lewis Meacham



1 “William A. Hulbert, President of the Chicago Base-Ball Club and of the National League,” CDT, April 11, 1882: 6; Tom Melville, Early Baseball and the Rise of the National League, Jefferson, NC: McFarland (2001): 76-78.

2 Minutes of August 18, 1874, meeting of the stockholders, Record book of stockholders’ meetings, Chicago Base Ball Association, Chicago Cubs Records, box 5, folder 4, Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. See also Jack Bales, “‘He will do just what is best, no doubt’: William Hulbert’s Calculated Dismantling of the Chicago Base Ball Association,” in Base Ball 12: New Research on the Early Game, ed. Don Jensen, Jefferson, NC: McFarland (2021): 111, 117.

3 “William A. Hulbert,”; Michael Haupert, “William Hulbert,” SABR Baseball Biography Project, Society for American Baseball Research, https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/william-hulbert.

4 “Obituary: Mr. Lewis E. [sic] Meacham,” CDT, October 3, 1878: 8; Melville, Early Baseball: 78.

5 Debra van Tuyll, “Byline,” in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Journalism,” 2nd ed., ed. Gregory A. Borchard, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications (2022): 265-67.

6 “Mouthpiece” is in Harold Seymour, Baseball, vol. 1, The Early Years , New York: Oxford University Press, (1960): 78; John Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, New York: Simon & Schuster (2011): 160; Andrew J. Schiff, “The Father of Baseball”: A Biography of Henry Chadwick , Jefferson, NC: McFarland (2008): 139 (includes Meacham authorship on pages 148-49); Melville, Early Baseball: 78 (includes Meacham authorship). A reader’s comments on Meacham’s articles are in “Pastimes,” CDT, March 4, 1877: 7, which refers to “Pastimes,” CDT, December 3, 1876: 7.

7 Organizations’ resolutions are in “Obituary” (Chicago baseball club); “Base-Ball: The League Meeting,” CDT, December 8, 1878: 7 (National League); “Lewis Meacham: Meetings of the Members of the Press, and of the Sons of Vermont,” CDT, October 4, 1878: 3 (Chicago newspapermen and members of a social club); “Union Veterans,” CDT, October 29, 1878: 8 (Union Civil War veterans). The Chicago baseball club tribute was reprinted in Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide for 1879; repr., St. Louis: Horton Pub. Co. (1988): 4.

8 These discrepancies are documented in the “Biographical Errors and Contradictions” section of this essay.

9 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–2005, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office (2005): 1568; John M. Comstock, The Congregational Churches of Vermont and Their Ministry, 1762–1942: Historical and Statistical, rev. ed., St. Johnsbury, VT: Cowles Press (1942): 96. “Death of Hon. James Meacham,” St. Albans (VT) Weekly Messenger, October 2, 1856: 1.

10 Family trees for James Meacham (1810-56) and Lewis Henry Meacham (1846-78) are in Ancestry Library Edition, https://www.ancestrylibrary.com. Emma (Emma Priscilla Meacham Davis) was born in 1855, married William H. Davis in 1879, and died in 1923.  Records for LM family members are on the website Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com.

11 Decennial Record of the Class of 1869, Amherst College, New York: George Macnamara (1879): 43–44 (post-college biographical details supplied by LM’s sister, Emma); A Catalogue of Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., July, 1863. Andover, MA: Warren F. Draper (1863): 10; Edgar J. Wiley, comp., Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont and of Others Who Have Received Degrees, 1800–1915, Middlebury, VT: The College (1917): 237. LM’s Civil War service is documented in the “Biographical Errors and Contradictions” section of this essay.

12 John Huse Eastman, ed., 1869: The History of the Class of 1869, Amherst College , New York: Press of Styles & Cash (1889): 127-28.

13 “State Items,” Rutland (VT) Daily Herald, January 1, 1868: 3; “Personal,” Rutland (VT) Weekly Herald, February 27, 1868: 8.

14 “Obituary,” Robert S. Fletcher and Malcolm O. Young, eds., Amherst College: Biographical Record of the Graduates and Non-Graduates, centennial ed., 1821–1921, Amherst, MA: The College (1927): 298.

15 “Personal,” Chicago Tribune, December 6, 1871: 1.

16 “Another Chicago Journalist Gone,” IO, October 3, 1878: 8; “Obituary”; “State Board of Agriculture,” (Brattleboro) Vermont Record and Farmer, February 20, 1874: 3.

17 “The Horse Stock Farm,” (Brattleboro) Vermont Phoenix, November 28, 1873: 2; “Personal,” St. Albans (VT) Daily Messenger, December 19, 1873: 3 (editorship); “The New Baxter Base-Ball Club,” Rutland (VT) Daily Globe, August 10, 1874: 3.

18 “Personal,” St. Albans (VT) Weekly Messenger, December 18, 1874: 5; “Obituary.”

19 “Obituary”; “Local Mention,” Rutland (VT) Daily Globe, October 16, 1875: 3.

20 Personal News Items,” (Montpelier, VT) Argus and Patriot, October 21, 1875: 2.

21 “Sporting,” St. Louis Republican, October 2, 1875: 1; “Sporting News,” CDT, October 2, 1875: 5.

22 Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: 148-51 (date of 1871); Schiff, “The Father of Baseball”: 136-39; Neil W. MacDonald, The League That Lasted: 1876 and the Founding of the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, Jefferson, NC: McFarland (2004): 1-7, 30.

23 Schiff, “The Father of Baseball”: 138-39, 144-45; MacDonald, The League That Lasted: 10-11, 52-55; Melville, Early Baseball: 78-80.

24 “Sporting: The Professional Base Ball Association—What It Must Do to Be Saved,” CDT, October 24, 1875: 12; Seymour, The Early Years: 78; “William A. Hulbert.”

25 “The Diamond Squared,” CDT, February 4, 1876: 5; MacDonald, The League That Lasted: 52-55.

26 Games and Pastimes,” CDT, February 13, 1876: 12. Hulbert once referred to one of LM’s contacts as “Meacham’s authority.” See William A. Hulbert to Charles Fowle, April 9, 1877, Chicago Cubs Records, box 2, folder 2, Chicago History Museum.

27 Sporting News,” CDT, April 26, 1876: 1 (game-day account); “Base-Ball: Pitchers’ Records,” CDT, March 25, 1877: 7 (player analyses); “Base-Ball,” CDT, December 2, 1877: 7.

28 Constitution and Playing Rules of the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs: Official, 1876; repr., St. Louis: Horton Pub. Co. (1988): 12.

29 “Sporting: The Professional Base Ball Association”; “Base Ball: Some Figures,” CDT, November 21, 1875: 12.

30 Melville, Early Baseball: 84-87; A. G. Spalding, “In the Field Papers: Base-Ball,” Cosmopolitan: A Monthly Illustrated Magazine, October 1889: 607-608.

31 “Pastimes,” CDT, December 3, 1876: 7 (includes “took two-thirds”); “Pastimes,” CDT, March 4, 1877: 7 (includes “I am very glad”).

32 “Baseball,” New York Clipper, December 23, 1876: 307; Jack Bales, Before They Were the Cubs: The Early Years of Chicago’s First Professional Baseball Team, Jefferson, NC: McFarland (2019): 109.

33 “The Field and Turf,” CDT, June 3, 1877: 7.

34 “Pastimes,” CDT, September 17, 1876: 7.

35 “Another Chicago Journalist Gone” (includes scorekeeping); “Personal,” Buffalo Morning Express, August 20, 1878: 4; “Base Ball,” Boston Globe, August 15, 1878: 5.

36 “Sports and Pastimes,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 10, 1876: 3; “Baseball,” New York Clipper, November 18, 1876: 269; “Lewis Meacham: Meetings of the Members of the Press” (includes “invaluable aid”); “Death of Meacham,” Cincinnati Enquirer, October 3, 1878: 8; Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide for 1878, 1878; repr., St. Louis: Horton Pub. Co. (1988).

37 “Obituary.”

38 Two of LM’s investigative articles are “‘Dead Beats,’” CDT, November 11, 1877: 6; “Sly Koons,” CDT, December 23, 1877: 3. Courtroom incident is in “The Cowhide in Chicago,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 11, 1878: 5 (includes quotations); “‘Kantankerous Koons,’” IO, January 11, 1878: 8.

39 “The Cowhide in Chicago.”

40 Sons of Vermont organization is in “Sons of Vermont,” IO, January 11, 1877: 8; “‘Sons of Vermont,’” CDT, February 23, 1877: 6 (includes “the social improvement”); “Sons of Vermont,” IO, June 6, 1877: 8 (mentions that LM was not present to give his address).

41 “Another Chicago Journalist Gone” (includes “in the very prime” and “affection”); “Obituary.”

42 “Obituary”; “Everything You Should Know about Biliary Colic,” Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/biliary-colic; “The Fell Sergeant,” Chicago Daily Telegraph, October 3, 1878: 1 (includes heart disease).  

43 “Lewis Meacham,” IO, October 5, 1878: 8; “Laid at Rest,” Chicago Times, October 5, 1878: 13; “The City: Lewis Meacham,” CDT, October 5, 1878: 8 (includes pallbearers); “Obituary” (includes relatives, seat, flag, and ribbon); “Another Chicago Journalist Gone” (includes scorekeeper’s seat).

44 See note 7 for resolutions.

45 “Death of Lewis Meacham,” Rutland (VT) Daily Herald and Globe,” October 4, 1878: 3.

46 “Obituary”; “Another Chicago Journalist Gone” (gives his rank as “First Lieutenant and Brevet Captain,” the only obituary examined that does so); Fletcher and Young, Amherst College,: 298.

47 “Lewis M. Shattuck,” New York, U.S., Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861–1900, Ancestry Library Edition, https://www.ancestrylibrary.com “Lewis M. Shattuck,” U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861–1865, Ancestry Library Edition, https://www.ancestrylibrary.com; “Rosters of the New York Infantry Regiments During the Civil War,” New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, https://museum.dmna.ny.gov/unit-history/conflict/us-civil-war-1861-1865/rosters-new-york-volunteers-during-civil-war/rosters-new-york-infantry-regiments-during-civil-war. George Shattuck is in Wiley, Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Middlebury College: 230; Fletcher and Young, Amherst College: 279.

48 “Application of Discharged Soldier for Additional Bounty,” November 13, 1866, Lewis M. Shattuck Civil War Papers, 1865–1866, Stewart-Swift Research Center, Henry Sheldon Museum, Middlebury, Vermont; “Bounty Equalization Bill,” Chicago Tribune, July 30, 1866: 1.

49 George T. Eaton to Walter E. Howard, January 27, 1910, Lewis Meacham Papers, Middlebury College Special Collections, Middlebury, Vermont (includes family lore); Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1568; “Death of Hon. Lewis Meacham,” Rutland (VT) Daily Herald, June 29, 1868: 2.

50 “Another Chicago Journalist Gone” (initial “B”); “Obituary” (initial “E”); “The Final Score,” Chicago Times, October 3, 1878: 6 (initial “S”); Drew Bartley (Vermont Genealogy Library), email message to author, October 8, 2023.

51 Lewis S. [sic] Meacham, physician’s certificate of death, October 5, 1878, Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, Illinois; “Lewis Meacham,” IO (includes casket plate).

52 “Lewis Meacham,” Retrosheet, https://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/M/Pmeacu901.htm; “Lewis Meacham,” Baseball-Reference.com, https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=meacha001lew; Tom Thress (Retrosheet), email message to author, December 4, 2023; Aidan Jackson-Evans (Baseball-Reference.com), email message to author, December 6, 2023.

53 Meacham’s two entries on the Find a Grave website are under “Lewis Henry Meacham” (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/36203432/lewis-henry-meacham) and “Lewis B. [sic] Meacham” (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/175766608/lewis-b-meacham).

54 Some reference sources are in notes 9 and 10; Drew Bartley (Vermont Genealogy Library), email message to author, February 3, 2023.

55 Lewis Henry Meacham,” Find a Grave; “The City: Lewis Meacham” (includes intentions of family members).

56 Eva Garcelon-Hart (Stewart-Swift Research Center, Henry Sheldon Museum, Middlebury, Vermont), email message to author, November 29, 2022.

57 Undated note from unknown person at Oak Woods Cemetery to author, postmarked December 10, 2022.

58 Mallory Price (Hyde Park Historical Society, Chicago, Illinois), email message to author, December 15, 2022.

59 MacDonald, The League That Lasted: 33-42; “Base Ball: Three Times as Profitable,” CDT, November 21, 1875: 12.

60 William A. Hulbert to C. Orrick Bishop, December 8, 1875, Chicago Cubs Records, box 2, folder 1, Chicago History Museum.

61 “Lewis Meacham: Meetings of the Members of the Press.”

62  Schiff, “The Father of Baseball”: 139 (includes “one of the key players”); Melville, Early Baseball: 78. For a contemporary article critical of Meacham, see “Notes,” St. Louis Republican, September 7, 1876: 8.

Full Name

Lewis Henry Meacham


March 8, 1846 at New Haven, VT (US)


October 2, 1878 at Chicago, IL (US)


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