An Ohio family with roots in the South, the Ewings influenced the course of the Midwest for more than 50 years. Patriarch Thomas Ewing, a former Whig senator and cabinet member who made his fortune as a real estate lawyer, raised four major players in the nation’s history – including William Tecumseh “Cump” Sherman, taken into the family as a nine-year-old, who went on to marry his foster sister Ellen. Ronald D. Smith now tells of this extraordinary clan that played a role on the national stage through the illustrious career of one of its sons.
He describes the seat-of-the-pants law practice in which Thomas Ewing Jr. worked with his brothers Hugh and Charlie and foster brother Cump. He then tells how Tom came to national prominence in the fight over the proslavery Lecompton Constitution, was instrumental in starting up the Union Pacific Railroad, and became the first chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.
Ewing obtained a commission in the Union Army – as did his brothers – and raised a regiment that saw significant action in Arkansas and Missouri. After William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, he issued the dramatic General Order No. 11 that expelled residents from sections of western Missouri. Then this confidant of Abraham Lincoln’s went on to courageously defend three of the assassination conspirators – including the disingenuous Samuel Mudd – and lobbied the key vote to block the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
This book fills the gaps in an interlocking family of remarkable people – one that helped shape a nation’s development in its courtrooms and business suites.
The book is published by University of Missouri Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.