Looking at a picture of Lewis and himself, Twain remarked:
The colored man. . . is John T. Lewis, a friend of mine. These many years – thirty-four in fact. He was my father-in-law’s coachman forty years ago; was many years a farmer of Quarry Farm, and is still my neighbor. I have not known an honester man nor a more respect-worthy one. Twenty-seven years ago, by the prompt and intelligent exercise of his courage, presence of mind and extraordinary strength, he saved the lives of three relatives of mine, whom a runaway horse was hurrying to destruction. Naturally I hold him in high and grateful regard.
John T. Lewis is remembered for assisting in the recovery and return to the Antietam congregation in Maryland the large, leather-bound pulpit Bible taken from the church by a New York soldier following the Battle of Antietam in 1862.