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-- Manuscript Group 283, Ewing Family (Trenton, NJ) Papers, 1792-1885 (Bulk dates: 1830-1853)


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 283, Ewing Family (Trenton, NJ)

Papers, 1792-1885 (Bulk dates: 1830-1853), 0.2 linear feet / 14 items

Call Number: MG 283


Commissions and certificates of James and Charles Ewing; letters and other documents concerning a testimonial dinner given by the New Jersey Bar for Peter D. Vroom (1791-1873) in 1853, just prior to his departure for Prussia, where he served as U.S. Minister.  Included are letters of Joseph C. Hornblower, William Pennington, R.B. Potter, and Stacy G. Potts.

Gift of William E. Green, 1957.


Biographical Note:

Thomas Ewing immigrated to the United States from Londonderry, Ireland in 1718.  He settled in the town of Greenwich, New Jersey (now in Cumberland County), where he married Mary Maskell.  Their youngest son, James Ewing (I), became an active participant in the Revolutionary War, joining the New Jersey Militia and taking part in the burning of British tea in Greenwich in 1774.  He was elected as a member of the state Legislature and moved to Trenton in 1779.  He became mayor of Trenton from 1797-1803 and helped found the Trenton Library and Academy.  He died on October 23, 1823.

James Ewing (I) married Martha Boyd, also a native of Ireland, and their only son, Charles Ewing, was born June 8, 1780 in Bridgeton, New Jersey.  Charles graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1798 and then moved to Trenton to study law with Samuel Leake, a local lawyer.  He was licensed as an attorney in November 1802, as a counselor in 1805, and called to the degree of sergeant-at-law in 1812.  Charles served in many capacities throughout his career – he was the recorder for Trenton, the Federalist candidate for the State Legislature in 1815, a commissioner to revise the laws of New Jersey in 1819, and the director of the Trenton Banking Company in 1821 and 1823-1824.  Charles Ewing was appointed chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1824 and was reelected to that post shortly before his death from cholera in 1832.

Charles Ewing married Eleanor Graeme Armstrong and they had two daughters and two sons.  Their son, James Ewing (II), graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1823 and was admitted to the bar in 1826.  He was a practicing lawyer throughout his lifetime and also served as the director of the Trenton Banking Company from 1833-1857.  James Ewing never married and died in 1869.


Provenance Note:

The Ewing Family Papers were a gift of William E. Green, 1957.


Scope and Content Note:

The Ewing Family Papers consist of fourteen items dating from 1792-1885.  There are a few certificates, largely legal commissions of Charles Ewing and his son James Ewing (II); a way-bill from New York to Stroudsburg; and one piece of correspondence from R.B. Potter to an unnamed Judge giving genealogical information (birth dates and locations) for Charles Ewing and his parents.

The papers also include one folder of correspondence concerning a testimonial dinner given for Peter D. Vroom, Jr. in 1853 by the New Jersey Bar.  The dinner was held in Mr. Vroom’s honor before his departure to Prussia to serve as the U.S. Minister.  The correspondence contains invitations and acceptances to the dinner and are signed by a large number of New Jersey lawyers, including: Alexander Wurts, Oliver S. Halsted, William Pennington, Asa Whitehead, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, Littleton Kirkpatrick, Richard P. Thompson, James Nevins, Benjamin Williamson, E.B.D. Ogden, Abraham Browning, Abraham O. Zabriskie, Archer Gifford, Cortlandt Parker, Edward T. Hillyer, Joseph P. Bradley, Algernon Sidney Hubbell, David Abbott Hayes, Joseph C. Hornblower, Caleb S. Green, and Peter D. Vroom.


Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 20, Peter D. Vroom (1791-1873) Papers

Manuscript Group 790, Maskell Ewing, Jr. (1758-1825) Docket


Folder List:





Charles Ewing – U.S. Loan Office certificate

January 30, 1792


Charles Ewing – Commission as chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court

October 28, 1831


James Ewing

- Commission as attorney November 16, 1826
- Commission as counsellor February 25, 1830
- Life membership certificate for the New Jersey Historical Society May 20, 1852


Waybill from New York to Stroudsburg, PA

January 29, 1850


Peter D. Vroom testimonial dinner correspondence

August 1853


R.B. Potter to Judge ( )

August 7, 1885


Processed by Kim Charlton, October 1999 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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