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Eleanor Boyle Ewing
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eleano1.gif (101596 bytes)Eleanor "Ellen" Boyle Ewing was the eldest daughter of Hon. Thomas Ewing and Maria Wills Boyle.   She was born 4 Oct 1824 and died 28 Nov 1888.  She married William Tecumseh Sherman 1 May 1850 in Blair House, in Washington D.C. where Ellen's father Thomas was serving on the Cabinent of President Taylor. Her wedding was attended by the President and his entire Cabinet as well as Daniel Webster, Senator Corwin of Ohio, and Henry Clay, whose gift, a silver filigree bouquet-holder, was carried by the bride. The service was performed by Dr. Ryder, President of Georgetown College, where Ellen had attended.

Growing up in Lancaster, Ohio, Ellen Ewing played the harp and piano and was a very beautiful girl. Over the years, as she and William T. Sherman grew up in the same home, they fell in love. Her father gave only a half-hearted approval of the relationship. He had many misgivings, knowing that Cump had to give some of his small salary to his mother, but mainly he hesitated because he didn't want his Ellen to live a nomadic life of an army wife.

Ellen & Cump moved frequently as he was stationed in various places -- New Orleans, St. Louis, then San Francisco, where Major Turner had offered him a job establishing a banking business there. His salary was $5000. They left their daughter Minnie with Ellen's parents in Lancaster when they moved to San Francisco. They took their second child, Mary Elizabeth, age one, with them. In 1853, they traveled to New York from Ohio, then by boat to San Francisco. It was a very difficult trip. When they reached San Juan del Norte at the mouth of the Nicaragua River, they transferred to another boat with no cabins where they had to sleep on the floor. They went ashore at Virgin Bay and began a 12-mile overland trip by mule. From San Juan del Sur, they took another steamer to California, arriving on October 15, 1853.

Ellen did not like San Francisco with its tramps, fleas and flies. She missed Minnie incredibly and yearned for Lancaster. In June of 1854, she had her 3rd child, William Ewing Sherman. In 1855, Ellen returned to Lancaster to bring Minnie home. She sailed on the ship Golden Age. In Panama, the ship struck a reef that ripped off its bottom. There were horrible tropical storms and on the 3rd day, the John Stevens rescued the passengers and continued the journey to New York. Because after two years, Minnie was so attached to her grandparents, Ellen and Cump decided the child could stay longer with them. So Ellen returned to San Francisco without her.

On Oct. 12, 1856, her fourth child, Thomas Ewing Sherman was born in San Francisco. And in 1857, because of business troubles in SF, the family returned to Lanaster. Cump went to New York, then had to return to SF on business. Ellen was devastated. After the bank failed, Cump returned to Lancaster, then moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, to practice law with Tom and Hugh. He was admitted to the bar without exam "on the grounds of his general intelligence." In 1859, Cump accepted a position as a
superintendent of a new military institute in Alexandria, Louisana. They returned again to Lancaster where their 5th child was born, Eleanor Maria Sherman. In October of 1859, Cump left for Louisiana. In their first 10 years of marriage, they only spent four of them together because of Cumps travels. In mid 1860, just as Ellen and the children were preparing to join Cump in Louisiana in the new home he had built there, talk of Civil War renewed. It was no longer safe for her to travel there. So Cump returned to Lancaster, resigning his position. Instead, the family moved to St. Louis where Cump accepted the position of the superintendency of a street railway there.

Several years later, more talk of Civil War began and it became unsafe for the family to stay in St. Louis. Cump was offered and appointed Colonel of the 13th Regular Infantry and went to Washington. Ellen and the children returned to Lancaster. They would be separated for another year. On July 5, 1861, daughter Rachel was born in Lancaster and named after her great grandmother Ewing.

The book SHERMAN FIGHTING PROPHET, by Lloyd Lewis, 1932, has much information on the family of Ellen Ewing and W.T. Sherman. THREE GENERATIONS by Katherine Burton is an excellent resource for information on the Sherman women and their lives.

For more information about Ellen Ewing and her family, see Descendant Names.

 

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