Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Ewing’

Hon. Thomas Ewing: the “Old Salt Boiler”

December 18, 2008
Hon. Thomas Ewing

Hon. Thomas Ewing

I ran across a rather rabid little news clip concerning the Hon. Thomas Ewing, which peaked my curiosity. To be honest, I had never heard of him, so I am glad I stumbled across the article,  that led me to do the research.

Thomas Ewing had several children, plus he raised several more that weren’t his, including William Tecumseh Sherman, who ended up marrying one of Thomas’ daughters.

Thomas Ewing served  as an adviser to four presidents, and he knew Abe Lincoln very well. To read more about him, here is a link with tons of interesting information about his family and his life.

Here is the article that first caught my attention:

It is said that Hon. Thos. Ewing will be the republican candidate for Congress, from the Fairfield District, Ohio.–Exchange.

It is impossible to make a republican out of Thomas Ewing. His mind began to fossilize in 1810, and it has grown more stony ever since. He, like old Mr. Crittenden and the “Bourbons” of like proclivities, have learned nothing for twenty years. You might as well elect Henry Clay’s Kentucky jean suit of old clothes to Congress, and call it a republican, as Thos. Ewing.

Weekly Gazette And Free Press (Janesville, Wisconsin) 11 Jul 1862

This next one was actually published the year earlier, and mentions his son as well:

Some of the Kansas papers are strongly urging the claims of Thomas Ewing, jr., for the Senate of the United States. Mr. Ewing, is a son of Thos. Ewing, of Ohio, the “Old Salt Boiler,” as he used to be called, when in active political life. Mr. Ewing  jr., is now we believe, one of the Supreme judges of Kansas.

Dawsons Fort Wayne Daily Times (Fort Wayne, Indiana) 01 Mar 1861

These next excerpts were both in the same edition, the referenced letter being on the front page, and the NON-apology on the next page, which  I am posting first:

Letter of Hon. Thomas Ewing.
We offer no apology for filling our first page with the proceedings of the Johnson Union Convention at Columbus, and the able letter of HON. THOMAS EWING of Ohio. We predict for the letter a careful and candid perusal by every thoughtful citizen without regard to what party they may belong. Mr. EWING is a statesman of marked ability, was a distinguished member of the cabinets of HARRISON and TAYLOR, was a whig U.S. Senator for many years, and as a jurist holds a front rank in his profession. Having never voted a Democratic in his life –and having stumped the State against McCLELLAN in 1861, he is not open to the taunt of copperheadism, and every supporter of LINCOLN ought to be able to give his letter an impartial consideration.

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) 17 Aug 1866

Excerpts from the letter:

Senator Trumbull,  in a speech lately delivered to his constituents, claims that the President did not punish traitors sufficiently, in other words, that there had not been ruin and misery, poverty and privations enough brought upon the people of the South to teach them that rebellion was unprofitable.

Mr. Trumbull, had his views been carried out in detail, would have taught them well that submission was even less profitable than rebellion, and I would ask under what law, after the war ended, could the President hang or shoot, or imprison those who had been traitors? The matter must have been submitted to our courts of justice, and no time had elapsed sufficient to organize and officer courts and bring to trial an hundred thousand criminals for treason.


My wish is that the Republican party, very many of whose members I highly respect may return to the path of constitutional rectitude, and walking in that path. I wish them a long and successful administration of their appropriate sphere in the affairs of the Government, and if they and the Constitution and the Union cannot exist together, I as earnestly desire their speedy overthrow.


T. EWING

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) 17 Aug 1866

Another EWING site with a few pictures (which is where I got the one at the top of the post) and more about him and his descendants. You can read about Thomas Ewing adopting William Tecumseh Sherman here.