Prudence Ward and Anne J. Ward Correspondence: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Alison Dinicola, January 5, 2007.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2007
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Prudence Ward and Anne J. Ward Correspondence
Dates (inclusive): 1839-1906
Collection Number: mssHM 68710-68772
Creator: Ward, Prudence, 1795-1874.
Extent: 63 pieces + ephemera in 2 boxes.
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: 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."
Language: English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Prudence Ward and Anne J. Ward Correspondence, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Purchased from Bromer Booksellers, Feb. 24, 1995.

Removed or Separated Material

The collection also contains a daguerreotype of Jane Thoreau, Henry David Thoreau’s aunt, within its original case, which was transferred to Photo Archives on February 10, 2006; call number photDAG 155.

Related materials in the Huntington Library

Biographical Note

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.
Joseph and Prudence Bird had eight children: Elizabeth, Joseph, Myra, Joseph, Prudence, Caroline, Dennis, and George Washington. Prudence never married but was a much loved aunt to her nieces and nephews, especially Caroline’s children Ellen, Edmund and George.
After Col. Joseph Ward’s death, Prudence Bird Ward and her daughters, Caroline and Prudence, became close friends with the Thoreau family, especially Mrs. Cynthia Thoreau (Henry David Thoreau’s mother), and Misses Elizabeth, Jane, and Maria Thoreau (Henry David Thoreau’s aunts). It was Maria Thoreau who, in 1817, introduced Caroline Ward to her future husband, Edmund Quincy Sewall. In 1833, Mrs. Ward and Prudence moved to Concord and lived in a house owned by John Thoreau, Sr. (Henry David Thoreau’s father). They lived there until Mrs. Ward’s death in 1844. After her mother’s death, Prudence left Concord but remained a close confidante of Maria and Sophia Thoreau. Caroline’s children were also very close to the Thoreaus, for her daughter, Ellen received marriage proposals from both John and Henry Thoreau. Even though she rejected both offers, Ellen remained close to Sophia. Ellen’s brother Edmund in 1840 became a student at the Thoreau school and was the inspiration for Henry David Thoreau’s poem “Gentle Boy.” Prudence Ward died on June 2, 1874. Upon Prudence’s death, her niece Anne J. Ward took control of her papers. Anne J. Ward was the daughter of Dennis Ward, Prudence’s brother. Anne J. Ward died on July 19, 1913.

Ward Family Tree

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, drawings, and photographs of the Ward and Thoreau families of Massachusetts. The correspondence consists of letters to Prudence Ward from Sophia, Maria, and Helen Thoreau and Franklin Benjamin Sanborn's letters to Anne J. Ward (1905, some with enclosed manuscripts). Also included are individual letters by Harrison Gray Otis Blake, Edmund Quincy Sewall, and George Washington Ward. The letters discuss the Alcott family, Mary Merrick Brooks, Lidian Jackson Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and the Thoreau family; American Antislavery Society, Cherokee Nation, Southworth & Hawes daguerreotypes, family affairs, social news, etc. Also included are drawings by Sophia E. Thoreau and Prudence Ward and photographs of places and people connected with the Thoreau family and Prudence Ward. The collection 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." The photographs within the collection all deal with places or people influential to both the Thoreaus and Prudence Ward. The collection also contains 4 folders of ephemera.
The drawings, photographs and letters to Prudence Ward were originally pasted into a scrapbook. The scrapbook has been disbound and the items interfiled with the rest of the collection. Before it was disbound, digital images were taken of each page in order to preserve the way the scrapbook was originally created. The original scrapbook binding is housed in the last box of this collection. Along with it is the binder that held the correspondence and manuscripts by F. B. Sanborn.

Arrangement

The correspondence, manuscripts and drawings are arranged alphabetically according to the author. The photographs follow and are arranged in alphabetical order according to the description of the photograph.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Alcott family.
Alcott, Abba May, 1800-1877.
Alcott, Amos Bronson, 1799-1888.
Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888.
Alcott, May, 1840-1879.
Brooks, Mary Merrick, 1801-1868.
Emerson, Lidian Jackson, 1802-1892.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882.
Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917 -- Archives.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862 -- Family -- Archives.
Thoreau, Jane, 1784-1864.
Thoreau, John, 1815-1842.
Thoreau, Maria, 1794-1881 -- Correspondence.
Thoreau, Sophia E. -- Archives.
American Anti-Slavery Society.
Emerson Society.
Southworth & Hawes.
Biographers -- Correspondence.
Women -- New England -- Correspondence.
Cherokee Indians.
New England -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Sources.

Forms/Genres

Drawings -- United States -- 19th century.
Family papers New England -- 19th century.
Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century.
Manuscripts -- United States -- 19th century.
Photographs -- United States -- 19th century.
Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century.

Additional Contributors

Blake, H. G. O. (Harrison Gray Otis), 1816?-1898.
Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917.
Sewall, E. Q. (Edmund Quincy), 1828-1908.
Thoreau, Helen L. (Helen Louisa), 1812-1849.
Thoreau, Maria, 1794-1881.
Thoreau, Sophia E.
Ward, Anne J., 1840-1913, correspondent.
Ward, George Washington, 1802-1855.

Indexing: Subjects

Alcott, Abigail (May). In Maria Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1870, Feb. 28. HM 68722.
Alcott, Amos Bronson, 1799-1888. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, “The Women of Concord:” [essay]. HM 68714.
Alcott, Amos Bronson, 1799-1888. In Maria Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1870, Feb. 28. HM 68722.
Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888. In Maria Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1870, Feb. 28. HM 68722.
Alcott, May, 1840-1879. In Maria Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1870, Feb. 28. HM 68722.
American Anti-Slavery Society. In Helen L. Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1845, Apr. 27. HM 68720.
Brooks, Mary Merrick, 1801-1868. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, “The Women of Concord:” [essay]. HM 68714.
Cherokee Nation. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, [Untitled beginning]: “The Emerson Society…,” [1905], Apr. 19. HM 68713.
Emerson, Lidian Jackson, 1802-1892. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, “The Women of Concord:” [essay]. HM 68714.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, [Untitled beginning]: “The Emerson Society…,” [1905], Apr. 19. HM 68713.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882. In Helen L. Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1845, Apr. 27. HM 68720.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882. In George Washington Ward, letter to Prudence Bird Ward, 1843, Nov. 15. HM 68730.
Emerson Society. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, letter to Anne J. Ward, 1905, Apr. 19. HM 68715.
The First and Last Journeys of Thoreau. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, letter to Anne J. Ward, 1905, June 23. HM 68716.
Sewall, Caroline Ward, 1797-1867. In Sophia Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, [1867], Dec. 16. HM 68728.
Southworth and Hawes. In Maria Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1864, Feb. 23. HM 68721.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In [F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn], [Untitled beginning]: “The demand for specimens of Thoreau’s…” HM 68712.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, [Untitled beginning]: “The Emerson Society…,” [1905], Apr. 19. HM 68713.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, “The Women of Concord:” [essay]. HM 68714.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, letter to Anne J. Ward, 1905, Apr. 19. HM 68715.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, letter to Anne J. Ward, 1905, June 23. HM 68716.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, letter to Anne J. Ward, 1906, Apr. 1. HM 68717.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In E.Q. (Edmund Quincy) Sewall, letter to Mary (Ward) Counce, 1839, Apr. 5. HM 68719.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In Helen L. Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1845, Apr. 27. HM 68720.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In Sophia Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1862, May 12. HM 68727.
Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862. In George Washington Ward, letter to Prudence Bird Ward, 1843, Nov. 15. HM 68730.
Thoreau, Jane, 1784-1864. In Maria Thoreau, letter to Prudence Ward, 1864, Feb. 23. HM 68721.
Thoreau, John, 1815-1842. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, [Untitled beginning]: “The Emerson Society…,” [1905], Apr. 19. HM 68713.
Thoreau, John, 1815-1842. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, letter to Anne J. Ward, 1905, June 23. HM 68716.
Thoreau, Maria, 1794-1881. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, “The Women of Concord:” [essay]. HM 68714.
Thoreau, Sophia E. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, “The Women of Concord:” [essay]. HM 68714.
Osgood, Ellen Sewall. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, [Untitled beginning]: “The Emerson Society…,” [1905], Apr. 19. HM 68713.
Ward, Prudence, 1795-1874. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, [Untitled beginning]: “The Emerson Society…,” [1905], Apr. 19. HM 68713.
Ward, Prudence, 1795-1874. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, “The Women of Concord:” [essay]. HM 68714.
Ward, Prudence Bird, 1765-1844. In F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Sanborn, “The Women of Concord:” [essay]. HM 68714.

Collection Contents

Box 1

Correspondence, Manuscripts, Drawings, Photographs

 

Correspondence, Manuscripts, and Drawings

 

Blake, H. G. O. (Harrison Gray Otis), 1816?-1898. 1 letter to “Miss Ward,” A.L.S. (1 p.), 1895, July 4, Worcester, Mass. HM 68710

 

Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917. First and Last Journeys of Thoreau: [novel], Proof (2 p.), [1905]. Enclosed in: F. B. Sanborn’s letter to Anne J. Ward dated June 23, 1905, cataloged separately—HM 68716. Note: The text comprises the first six pages of the book. Located in Oversize folder. HM 68711

 

[Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917]. [Untitled beginning]: “The demand for specimens of Thoreau’s…” MS. (typewritten: 1 p. partial). HM 68712

 

Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917. [Untitled beginning]: “The Emerson Society…” Carbon copy (MS., typewritten: 2 p.), [1905], Apr. 19. Enclosed in: F. B. Sanborn’s letter to Anne J. Ward dated Apr. 19, 1905, cataloged separately—HM 68715. HM 68713

 

Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917. “The Women of Concord:” [essay], MS. (typewritten: 6 p.). Annotations in the author’s hand. HM 68714

 

Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917. 1 letter to Anne J. Ward, 1840- 1913, A.L.S. (4 p.), 1905, Apr. 19, Concord, Mass. Contains envelope. Enclosure: F.B. Sanborn’s lecture to the Emerson Society, cataloged separately—HM 68713. HM 68715

 

Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917. 1 letter to Anne J. Ward, 1840- 1913, L.S. (typewritten: 1 p.), 1905, June 23. Enclosure: Two pages of proofs from The First and Last Journeys of Thoreau edited by F.B. Sanborn, cataloged separately—HM 68711. HM 68716

 

Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917. 1 letter to Anne J. Ward, 1840- 1913, A.L.S. (1 p.), 1906, Apr. 1, Concord, Mass. Contains envelope. HM 68717

 

Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917. Clipped signature, L.S. (typewritten: 1 p. partial). HM 68718

 

Sewall, E. Q. (Edmund Quincy), 1828-1908. 1 letter to Mary (Ward) Counce, 1832-1904, A.L.S. (3 p.), 1839, Apr. 5. Note: Pencil notation in unknown hand on page 4. HM 68719

 

Thoreau, Helen L. (Helen Louisa), 1812-1849. 1 letter to Prudence Ward, 1795- 1874, A.L.S. (4 p.), 1845, Apr. 27, Concord, Mass. HM 68720

 

Thoreau, Maria, 1794-1881. 3 letters to Prudence Ward, 1795-1874. HM 68721-68723

Note

Note: Daguerreotype of Jane Thoreau transferred to Photo Archive on February 10, 2006, call number photDAG 155.
 

Thoreau, Sophia E. “Birth Place of Dr. Bodell”: Drawing. Note: Notation on a separate piece of page describes the drawing as being by Sophia E. Thoreau in unknown hand. HM 68724

 

[Thoreau, Sophia E.] “Edelwiss”: Drawing. HM 68725

 

Thoreau, Sophia E. 4 letters to Prudence Ward, 1795-1874. HM 68726-68729. Ward, George Washington, 1802-1855. 1 letter to Prudence Bird Ward, 1765 1844, A.L.S. (4 p.), 1843, Nov. 15, New York, N.Y. HM 68730

 

Ward, Prudence, 1795-1874. “Hibiscis”: Drawing. Note: Drawings on both sides of the paper. HM 68731

 

Photographs

 

-----. “Boulder Field.” HM 68732

 

-----. [George Critcherson]. HM 68733

 

-----. “Egg Rock.” HM 68734

 

-----. Entrance to unidentified house. HM 68735

 

-----. “Fairhaven.” HM 68736

 

-----. “Fairhaven Bay.” HM 68737

 

-----. “Fairhaven Pond.” HM 68738

 

-----. “Flint’s Bridge.” HM 68739

 

-----. E. Garrett. HM 68740

 

-----. Grave and headstones for the entire Thoreau family. HM 68741

 

-----. “Great Meadows, Bulls Hill (Daniel Chester French, 1850-1931 on horseback?). HM 68742

 

-----. Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864—Old Manse. HM 68743

 

-----. Edmund Hosmer, 1798-1881, House. HM 68744

 

-----. House/building once belonging to the Thoreau family—57 Prince Street. Note: Newspaper clipping about this house/building located in Ephemera folder labeled: “Newspaper Clippings.” HM 68745

 

-----. Laura P. Hows(?). HM 68746

 

-----. [“Minot House”?]. HM 68747

 

-----. “Mud Meadow Birch”(?). HM 68748

Box 2

Photographs (cont.), Ephemera, and Bindings

 

Photographs

 

-----. “Old Marlboro Road.” HM 68749

 

-----. “Old Marlboro Road.” HM 68750

 

-----. “Old Road.” HM 68751

 

-----. “Pines.” HM 68752

 

-----. “Site of Thoreau’s House, Walden Pond.” HM 68753

 

-----. “Spring from Nashawtuc Hill.” HM 68754

 

-----. “Summer from Nashawtuc Hill.” HM 68755

 

-----. [Cynthia D. (Cynthia Dunbar) Thoreau, 1787-1872]. Note: Notation in pencil on verso: “Mrs. John Thoreau from silhouette form possession of Mary Moody Emerson.” Notation in unknown hand. HM 68756

 

-----. Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862. HM 68757

 

-----. Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862. HM 68758

 

-----. Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862. HM 68759

 

-----. Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862, Bust. HM 68760

 

-----. “Henry D. Thoreau and Site of House at Walden.” HM 68761

 

-----. [Henry David Thoreau’s chair, desk and bed.” HM 68762

 

-----. Henry David Thoreau’s House on Main Street. HM 68763

 

-----. Jane Thoreau, 1784-1864. Note: Original daguerreotype transferred to Photo Archive on February 10, 2006, call number photDAG 155. HM 68764

 

-----. John Thoreau, 1787-1859. HM 68765

 

-----. Maria Thoreau, 1794-1881. HM 68766

 

-----. Sophia E. Thoreau. HM 68767

 

-----. Unidentified house. HM 68768

 

-----. Unidentified woman. HM 68769

 

-----. Unidentified woman. HM 68770

 

-----. Unidentified woman. HM 68771

 

-----. [Anne J. Ward, 1840-1913]. HM 68772

 

Ephemera

Folder 1

Business Card for the Colonial Inn. Note: In 1799, John Thoreau (Henry David Thoreau’s grandfather) purchased part of the building for his family.

Folder 2

Clippings of images from newspapers and magazines.

Folder 3

Newspaper clippings about Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Sophia E. Thoreau.

Folder 4

Postcard of the “Home of Thoreau and the Alcotts.”

 

Original bindings

Folder 1

Binding that housed the manuscripts and correspondence by F. B. Sanborn to Anne J. Ward.

Folder 2

Binding that housed the correspondence, drawings, photographs and ephemera by and about the Thoreau and Ward families.