Skip to main content

Office of the President. Benjamin Stoddert Ewell Records

Identifier: UA 2.06

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Collection includes biographical materials, writings, and correspondence.

This is an artificial collection of correspondence, 1848-1898, of and concerning Benjamin Stoddert Ewell while he was serving on the faculty and as president of the College of William and Mary. Prominent correspondents include: Ambrose Burnside, Ulysses S. Grant, Hugh Blair Grigsby, John Johns, Joseph E. Johnston, Robert McCandlish, Matthew Fontaine Maury, George Gordon Meade, Charles Minnigerode, William Cabell Rives, Francis Henney Smith, John Reuben Thompson, John Tyler, Henry A. Washington, and Henry A. Wise. Subjects include Ewell's hiring as professor of mathematics and as acting president, the fire of 1859, William and Mary during the Civil War, raising funds in the United States and England to restore the college following the war, the possible removal of the college from Williamsburg, the suspension of the college and its re-opening as a normal school to train male teachers.


  • Creation: 1848-1898
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1866-1886


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open to all researchers. 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, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Benjamin Stoddert Ewell was born in Georgetown, D. C., 10 June 1810, the son of Thomas Ewell and Elizabeth Stoddert. He graduated from United States Military Academy and taught there. He taught at Hampden- Sydney College and at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University). In 1848, he was elected professor of mathematics and acting president of College of William and Mary and in 1854, became president. He was colonel of 32nd Virginia Infantry Regiment and later assistant adjutant-general to Joseph E. Johnston. He was president of William and Mary 1854-1888 and died 1894. He was the brother of Richard Stoddert Ewell, had another brother, William Stoddert, a sister Elizabeth S. Ewell and a daughter Elizabeth S. Ewell Scott.

See the SCRC Wiki for more information about Ewell:


0.80 Linear Feet

Acquisition Information:

Acc. 1980.130 received 11/20/1980. Acquisition information for material received after 7/13/2009 is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member.


Some letters were  purchased from Robert F. Butchelder in 1982. Telegrams were purchased fromm Joseph R. Sakmyster in 1988.

Related Materials:

Benjamin Stoddert Ewell Papers in the SCRC's Manuscripts section (Mss. 39.1 Ew3)

Information about related materials is available at

Guide to the Office of the President. Benjamin Stoddert Ewell Records
Finding Aid Authors: Special Collections Staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository