Guide to the Ewer Family Papers, 1810-1884

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Ewer Family Papers
Ewer family
Nantucket Historical Association
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the Ewer Family Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

SV-25/2 gift of unknown donor (Acc. 1954.52). Folder 3 gift of Francis W. Pease (Acc. 1983.1).

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Ewer, Ferdinand C. (Ferdinand Cartwright), 1826-1883.
    • Ewer, Peter F.
    • Ewer, Prince W.
    • Ewer family.
  • Topical Term
    • Whaling—Massachusetts—Nantucket—19th century.
  • Genre Term
    • Journals (Diaries).

Biographical Information

The Ewer family was involved in shipping and whale oil in Nantucket, Mass. They owned ships and took part actively in the silk industry on the island.

Sylvanus Ewer (1767-1836) was born to Seth Ewer and Lydia Churchill. He married Anna Crosby (1771-1797), daughter of Sylvanus Crosby and Huldah Pease, before 1797. He married Margaret (Peggy) Folger (1770-1805) in 1798. The couple had one son, Peter F. Ewer (1800-1855). Sylvanus married Phebe Pease (1775-1822), daughter of Dr. Elijah Pease and Phebe Russell, in 1807. He married Eunice Hussey (1780-1847), daughter of Stephen Hussy and Rose Barnard, after 1822.

Peter F. Ewer married Eunice Cartwright (1799-1822), daughter of John Cartwright and Mary Starbuck, circa 1819. The couple had two children, including George A. Ewer (1821-). He later married Mary Cartwright (1797-1877), sister of Eunice Cartwright, circa 1825. The couple had two children, including Ferdinand C. Ewer (1826-1883). Peter was a successful businessman, acting as an agent for his father purchasing and selling ships and cargoes. He operated first out of Providence, R.I., later moving with his family to New York City.

George A. Ewer married Trinidad Nadal. The couple had two children.

Reverend Ferdinand C. Ewer married Sophie Mandele Congdon, daughter of Benjamin and Deborah Congdon. The couple had six children. Ferdinand was known throughout America as a theologian, writer, and scientist. He was a mapmaker, well educated in geology, and made an extensive study of the geology and topography of the island.

George W. Ewer (-1839) was married to Peggy (Margaret) Coggeshall, daughter of Robert Coggeshall and Betsey Coffin.

Isaac Ewer was born to Seth Ewer and Lydia Churchill.

Prince W. Ewer (1809-1887) was born to David Ewer and Mary (Polly) Pease. He married Elisa W. Swain (1811-1879), daughter of Laban Swain and Abigail Barney, in 1837. The couple had one son. In 1879, Prince married Hannah M. Coffin, daughter of Seth Coffin and Lydia Coleman.

Scope and Content

The Ewer Family papers include materials belonging to various members of the Ewer family, such as a memorandum book, a piece book, letters, sermons, and poems. There are also receipts and financial notes concerning whaling ships and general business matters.


SV-25/1 Peter F. Ewer memorandum book, 1834-1854
SV-25/2 Peter F. Ewer notebook, undated
Box 1 Folder 1 Ferdinand C. Ewer papers, 1835-1884
Box 1 Folder 2 George A. Ewer receipt, 1838
Box 1 Folder 3 George W. Ewer receipts, 1836-1838
Box 1 Folder 4 Isaac Ewer receipts, 1838
Box 1 Folder 5 Peter F. Ewer papers, 1829-1841
Box 1 Folder 6 Prince W. Ewer papers, 1861-1875
Box 1 Folder 7 Sylvanus Ewer papers, 1810-1838
Box 1 Folder 8 Ewer family papers, 1830-1838

Items Separated

  • Separated Volumes (SV-25/1-2)

Processing Information

Processed by NHA staff. Finding aid by Sarah Lerner and Amelia Holmes, October 2018.

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