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EWING FAMILY HISTORY

There exists many letters written between various Ewing family members from the early 1800's through the Civil War.  They can be found in the Ewing Collections at the Library of Notre Dame and the Library of Congress.  See "Other Sites" for further information.

 

The following is a letter written by Hon.Thomas Ewing  to his wife, Maria, after assuming his Senatorial duties in Washington D.C. 

Washington Dec 25 1831

Dear Maria     I hesitated some time this morning which I should do - go to church, or stay and write you a long letter - I have at last resolved to stay & write the leter - as I might?     I told you in a former letter that I had an invitation to dine with the President - I shingly ___on Tuesday last I _____ to the palace where I was received with much courtesy by the old chief - There were large numbers of Gentlemen there & four or five Ladies of the household in addition who is the mistress of the menagerie. Mr. Jackson, newly married to an adopted son & namesake of the President & two young ladies - neither of them very remarkable for beauty or accomplishments -- respectable however in each particular . We attended at 5 o'clock & it was about half past ten when we sat down to dinner - I had half an hours chat with the ladies (the two married ones, for you know I let the girls alone) but when dinner was announced & I was about to tender my service to one of them, the President requested four of the Old Senators to take charge of the Ladies - & very civily took me under his speciall care -- Well it had to be so you know.     I have already told you that the manners of the President are increassssingly fine. For a how dye-do solicitation or a sitting at table chit chat I never met his superior - He is neither wise nor learned nor witty - but his concerns with function & ease on light ond ordinary topicks = matters of every day occurance which everybody knows about & which evey body can think - and then,hie is exceedingly familiear though at the same time sufficiently dignified. - Now and then however, his want of general information will disclose itself. Though not often -- He gave me a seat again & usual next tohim at his right hand - we had an excellent dinner -- fine wine - madiera of choice & very ancient vintage & some first rate champaign - enough to make on a drunken man almost - not quite -      This is the first time I have seen Gen Jackson's table graced with the presence of a lady- and at this time too the rich talbe service which I noticed when dining with John Adam, in their day of power was also exhibited - Coffee was handed around very soon after we rose from dinner & the guests took leave -- This is the only dinner, or other party I have attended since I came to Washington - except some dinner,,,ss given by our niece to ssuch of our friends from Ohio as visited Washington & one evening party given by Judge Higgly to some of those Ohio friends -      The truth is ( if I do not tell it) I have been extremely industriouss attending to the business of my constitutents, & informing myself upon those subjects that are likely soon to come before the Senate for their action - I make one speech in secret session (of which as the door was closed you will see nothing in the papers_ and I am inclined to think it was well received = It was upon a question of some importance - I spoke in reply to arguments advanced by Bible of Kentucky & a senator from North Carolina - No one spke to the same point on the same side but myself & the vote of the Senate was in accordance with my views --- I received, as I suppose is usual, on a first speech. The congratulation of the Vice President & some of the leading Senators - This however is all between you & me - you have sometimes told me that one of my particular friends makes his wife (good soul) believe he is the greatest man in the world & I have concluded to try the same experiment with mine -      I have a very agreeable All temperate, orderly man & attentive to business - Mr. Vinton has a room opposite mine & visits me often - you know of his family misfortunes. He is deeply affected by them though he seems unwilling to ob. .. His sorrows upon others -     Last evening , however, he came into my room just before bed time - I had written on a card something to send to Bub which I thought would make him proud. The card had fallen from the table & Vinton came in and picked it yp & asked me something about the boy - I told him what a restless wild ungovernable fellow he was & that notwithstanding that he was his mother's pet.      He then spoke of his own family misfortunes - said he had never before been so fully impressed with the feeble & uncertain tenor of human life - that his wife possessed a fine constitution & enjoyed excellent health until a short time before she died - that she ws seized with a bleeding at the lungs & before he was well aware of the danger of her situation she was past remedy. He was himself taken sick soon after. His little boy, a fine sprightly intelligent lad of four years old the image of his mother, was playing about his bed to ____ with - one evening he came and lay down by him and was more than usually talkative - he told him over a dozen of his little adventures & what he would do when he got to be a man - the child became at laast tired & fell asleep - in the night he heard som commotion in the house and inquiring the cause found that his little son was in a fit - one fit after another succeeded & before morning he was a corpse - He has a little daughter left. The only remaining member of his family -     These misfortunes have made such an impression on his mind that he cannot, he thinks, ever return to his house again. Everything there whether important or trivial - his room, his furniture - the flowerpots, the garden - all remind him of what he once possessed and what he has lost - He is not ____ in his purpose but seriously thinks leaving Gallipolis and entering another residence --      You comply so punctually with my requests in request in regard to letter writing. That I have great confience in you. Like particularity in other matters - Do you keep your account accurately with the bank so that you know at all times the precise state of your funds. You must not omit that, if you would have the audit of available finances - and as to prompt pay in cash for everying you purchase. You know that was a matter so aabsolutely agreed on between us that I only name it to let you know that I have not changed my mind on the subject - But on the supposition that your finds are beginning to run law I enclose you a check for $50. Which you will send to Mr. Garraghty & have it placed to your creti for it is on the whole rather hard to require you to make heavy payments without giving you a little something to pay with -- and as I have no one-dollar bill I enclose you $3.00 not absolutely for the purpose of paying your winter expenses - but because I happen to have a Lancaster note which is not curent here - so you must not call me old stotley for that -- when you write next or at any rate soon after the receipt of this send me a statement of your cash amounts - I believe I have nothing more to write only I back & tell you of my adventures in crossing the mountains - "By hair breadth escapes by blood & ____" O yes, I must ell you of some more of my obligations Judge Irvin ^ I went to the theatre night byfore last - You know I told you before I left home that there was no danger of my doing any __________ unless I was led on by the Judge & so it turns out - however I (next page was not translated)

 

(More letters will be posted as they are transcribed)

 

 

Copyright 1998-2006 Marilyn Price-Mitchell.  Permission to copy all or part of this page granted for non-commercial use only.  Send mail to ewingfamily(at)sandcastles.net.  Instead of (at), use the @ symbol normally found in an email address. Last modified: September 16, 2006