The collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, drawings, and photographs of the
Ward and Thoreau families, relatives of Henry David Thoreau, of Massachusetts. The
collection also contains two pages of proofs of F. B. Sanborn's "First and last journeys
of Thoreau (1905)", his lecture to the Emerson Society, and a typescript of his essay
"The Women of Concord."
Prudence Ward was born on October 6, 1795, in Newton, Massachusetts, to Joseph Ward
and Prudence (Bird) Ward. Both Joseph and Prudence Bird were descendents of William
Ward, one of the original founding fathers of Massachusetts. Joseph Ward was a
schoolteacher before the Revolutionary War. During the war, he was secretary and
aide-de-camp to both General Heath and a distant cousin, General Artemis Ward. He
eventually became Colonel of the General-Commissary of the Musters. On November 26,
1778, he was taken prisoner by the British. After his release and retirement from
the military he became a realtor and stockbroker. In 1792, he retired from business
and in 1796 become the representative for Newton in the General Court. In 1807, he
was appointed justice of the Court of Common Pleas for Suffolk County. He died on
February 14, 1812.
63 pieces + ephemera in 2 boxes.
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