- Jack S. Blocker
Lewis, Dioclesian (03 March 1823–21 May 1886), temperance reformer and pioneer in physical education, was born near Auburn, New York, the son of John C. Lewis and Delecta Barbour, farmers. A product of the “Burned-Over District,” America’s most fertile ground for revivalism and reform during the Second Great Awakening (1800–1830), Dio Lewis absorbed revivalism’s lesson of individual improvement through self-discipline and applied it to social problems created or exacerbated by urbanization and industrialization. His first exposure to the new world of industry came as a boy, when he was hired by a cotton mill near his home. After spending several years in his late teens as a teacher, Lewis turned to the study of medicine, at first with a local doctor, then for a short time at Harvard. While practicing in Port Byron, New York, he was converted by his partner to homeopathy, and as a result of his efforts in publicizing homeopathic principles Lewis was awarded an honorary M.D. in 1851 by the Homeopathic Hospital College of Cleveland, Ohio....