Ewing

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Ewing (#) (1841-1876), [U.S.S Ewing], 91.6-foot topsail schooner built in Maryland and first stationed in New York. She was brought to San Francisco in 1849 to work for the Coast Survey off the California coast in the 1850s. A. D. Bache’s Report of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey for 1853 stated: “The schooner Ewing has been engaged in furnishing transportation to the parties surveying the Santa Barbara islands, and in the hydrography of that vicinity.” She was under the command of lieutenants McArthur and Cuyler for a time, and in 1854 under the command of Lieutenant T. H. Stevens, she paid a visit to Anacapa Island. A field sketch by W. B. McMurtrie was sent to Washington and became the basis for the now famous drawing of Anacapa Island by James McNeil Whistler. According to the 1856 Annual Report, the Ewing was assigned to make “observations on the currents of Santa Barbara channel, including examination of currents outside of and between the Santa Barbara islands.” She had paid a visit to Santa Cruz Island in 1855 where survey artist, James Madison Alden painted Rancho & Valley Santa Cruz Island, California. The Ewing was followed by the schooner Humboldt. Ewing remained at work for the Coast Survey until she was decommissioned in 1876.

Photo at Cuylers with Active; watercolor 1856 NOAA. See Schwemmer’s article.


In the News~

June 25, 1853 [NYD]: “The surveying schooner Ewing, Lieutenant Stevens, was at San Pedro on the 20th instant, and would leave next day for Catalina Island. Lieutenant George Davidson was actively engaged in the performance of his duties as Chief Assistant of the Coast Survey.”


July 21, 1855 [SBG]: “The surveying schooner Ewing, under the command of Captain McKae, returned to this port on the 17th instant, from the Island of Anacapa, where the party under his command have been engaged in making a hydrographic survey. The schooner left for the island of Santa Cruz on the 19th, and from thence, we learn, she is to proceed down the coast.”


July 3, 1856 [SBG]: “The surveying schooner Ewing, R. M. Cuyler, Lieutenant Commander, arrived in our harbor on the 2nd instant, from a cruise in the Santa Barbara Channel. Currents were observed at five stations, namely: off Santa Barbara; in the channel between Santa Barbara and Point Conception; at Point Conception; between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands; and off San Miguel Island.”


July 11, 1856 [SDU]: “Santa Barbara. Coast Survey. The U. S. surveying schooner, Ewing, R. M. Cuyler, Lieut. Commanding, arrived in our harbor on the 2nd instant, from a cruise in the Santa Barbara Channel. Currents were observed at five stations, namely: off Santa Barbara, in the channel between Santa Barbara and Point Conception, at Point Conception, between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands, and off San Miguel.”


July 24, 1856 [SBG]: “The surveying schooner Ewing, Lieutenant Commander R. M. Cuyler, arrived on Friday last, from a cruise for the purpose of determining the currents of Santa Barbara channel and outside of the Santa Barbara islands. Five stations were occupied for the above purpose, viz: off San Buenaventura; near Anacapa Island; between Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz; off south side Santa Rosa; and off south side San Miguel.”