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2 Jake Garzio Drive
Ewing, NJ 08628

Biography of Charles Ewing

Charles Ewing


June 8, 1780 – August 5, 1832

Biography of Charles Ewing

The Honorable Charles J. Ewing was the only son of James and Marth Boyd Ewing. He was born on June 8, 1780 in Bridgeton, New Jersey, which is in present-day Cumberland County. Shortly after Charles’ birth, his mother died. In the year 1784, his family moved to the town of Trenton. Charles studied at the Trenton Academy. After the completion of his courses there, he traveled to Philadelphia to study the French language. In 1796 he returned to New Jersey so that he could attend the College of New Jersey at Princeton. Today, it is known as Princeton University. After completing a two-year course of study, he graduated in 1798 with first honors, especially in mathematics. Later, he was able to earn a Doctor of Literary Letters degree. After college graduation, he studied law in the office of Samuel Leake, a Trenton attorney. He was licensed to practice and admitted to the Bar in November, 1802. He advanced rapidly and was made a counselor in 1805. In 1812, he was appointed to the office of sergeant-at-arms. Charles eventually became recorder of the City of Trenton. In 1815, he was persuaded to become a reluctant Federalist candidate for the State Legislature. He was appointed in 1819 to serve on a commission created to revise some of the archaic laws of New Jersey.

In October, 1824, Charles Ewing was elected Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court by the two houses of the State Legislature. Ewing was reluctant to accept the position because he had already established a lucrative law practice. Although he demurred at accepting the seat, it soon became evident that he was well-suited to the judiciary. A conscientious judge, Ewing always took the greatest care in hearing each case, but he was able to complete the court’s business efficiently. When his seven-year term was completed in 1831, he was re-elected by the State Legislature.

Charles Ewing was thought to be of the old school. He was considered an excellent conversationalist and could put his guests at ease. Ewing became well-known for his generous hospitality.

He was married to Eleanor Graeme Armstrong, daughter of Reverend James F. Armstrong of Trenton. They had three children; one son, Dr. Francis A. Ewing; two daughters; the wife of Chief Justice Henry W. Green, and the wife of Judge Caleb S. Green.

Ewing died on August 5, 1832. He was one of the first victims of Asiatic Cholera in New Jersey. He is buried in Riverview Cemetery in Trenton, New Jersey. Chief Justice Charles J. Ewing is considered by both his contemporaries and later authorities to be one of New Jersey’s foremost jurists.

Charles Ewing has been distinguished as an honest and thoughtful man, an able and respectful advocate, and a fair and careful judge; and it’s only right that his spirit remains with us in the Township bearing his name.

Surprisingly, the Ewing family never actually lived in present-day Ewing. The Township was so-named in 1834 to honor his service as Chief Justice of the NJ State Supreme Court two years after his death.

Our thanks to the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society for supplying this biography.
David Howell House


The Commission exists to help promote and encourage the preservation of Ewing’s rich and varied historic and cultural heritage for Ewing’s future residents. To learn more check Historic Preservation in Ewing, published by the Commission.

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Our Historic Community

To learn more about the history of our community, please visit the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society at

The Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society is a local nonprofit that is headquartered in the Benjamin Temple House at Drake Farm Park. The site serves as a museum of Ewing’s past. The Society works diligently to preserve the site and promote exciting programming about Ewing’s past. They also conduct research and safeguard the documents and artifacts that reflect and preserve the history of our community. They welcome your questions and are always looking for volunteers.


The Ewing Museum at the Benjamin Temple House
27 Federal City Road, Ewing NJ 08638