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Marcus L. Ward Papers (ca. 1782 - 1925)
RepositoryRutgers University, Special Collections and University Archives
Collection IDMC 1020
Size7 boxes
Collection Description
Newark native Marcus Lawrence Ward (1812-1884) was the son of Moses Ward and Fanny Brown Ward, and a descendant of John Ward of Branford, CT, one of the founders of Newark. In 1840 Ward and Susan Longworth Morris (b. 1815), daughter of John and Elizabeth (Longworth) Morris, were married. The couple had eight children: Joseph Morris (b.1841), Elizabeth Morris (1843), Frances Lavinia (1844-1846); Marcus L. Ward, Jr. (1847-1920), Catharine Almira Morris (1849-1860), Nicholas Longworth (1852-1857), John Longworth Morris (1854-1855), and Frances Brown (1856-1864). Of the eight children only two, Joseph Morris Ward and Marcus L. Ward, Jr., lived to adulthood and survived their father. Moses Ward established a successful candle and soap manufacturing business, served on the Common Council in 1837, invested in land in Wisconsin and Michigan, and was Chief Engineer of the Newark Fire Department.

Marcus Ward was a partner in his father's firm and in 1846 dissolved a business partnership with John Kitchen to become a director of the National State Bank. He became involved in a number of other business ventures, for example, serving as Secretary of the Lawrence Cement and Manufacturing Company in 1851. Active in the cultural and civic life of Newark, Ward was chairman of the Executive Committee of the New Jersey Historical Society, a founder of the Newark Library Association and the New Jersey Art Union, and the first president of the Newark Industrial Exhibition (1868).

During and after the Civil War he provided veterans and their families with assistance in many forms, including help in collecting bounties and other compensation, help with pension claims, and help in securing documentation of service or medical claims. These services were provided free of charge. He established Marcus L. Ward's Office for Soldiers Business, a private bureau in Newark that secured soldiers' pay and pensions, and transmitted the monies to their families or deposited them in savings accounts. He also founded the Ward U.S. Military Hospital in Newark, a forerunner of the New Jersey Home for Disabled Soldiers, and was chairman of the Public Aid Committee of Newark. Most of the individuals assisted were from New Jersey (the majority from Newark), including many Irish and German immigrants. Ward's efforts on behalf of Civil War veterans and their families continued during the years of Reconstruction, earning Ward the title: "the Soldier's Friend." A draft letter in the collection from Ward to the "New York Tribune" (1865?) stoutly defends the city against charges that local copperhead sympathies ran so strong that Union soldiers, including wounded veterans, had been vilified and mistreated at the hospital and in the streets.

Ward joined the Republican Party in 1856 and served as a delegate to the 1860 Republican national convention, which nominated Abraham Lincoln for the presidency. Ward's first bid for the New Jersey governorship, in 1862, failed. When he ran again for governor in 1865, he was elected in a Republican landslide. While Governor of New Jersey (1866-1869) he served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, and as Chairman and Treasurer of the National Union Committee. Ward was also elected as a Representative from New Jersey to the U.S. Congress (1873-1875).

Marcus L. Ward died in Newark on April 25, 1884 from complications of malaria, which he had contracted while on a visit to Florida.
Collection Contents
Contents of the collection are as follows:

Box 1: Correspondence, Personal (10 folders, 1831-1884 and undated): includes incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence, with letters from family members, politicians, and business associates; copies of Ward's letters to the press on political matters; correspondence with William A. Whitehead re: the NJ Historical Society; letters about political appointments; letters regarding patriotic events; and Congressional correspondence. Also included are some legal documents, bills, cancelled checks, and other items of ephemera.

Box 1: Correspondence, "Box 582" (5 folders, 1856-1873 and undated): consists of letters thanking MW for forwarding letters found at the Newark Post Office with insufficient postage

Box 1: Correspondence, Governor's (6 folders, 1866-Jan 1867- Oct 1868): includes official correspondence, many letters addressed to MW and the Commissioners of the Soldiers Home, etc., and a few personal items,

Box 2: Correspondence, Governor's (1 folder, Feb 1867- 1868)

Box 2: Case Files (5 folders, mostly 1850s-1960s): consists of material re: claims against the U.S. government, settlement of estates, insurance matters, etc. Individual cases are mostly Newark-related. Included is the claim of Horace Congar of Newark as Consul of the U.S. at Hong Kong (1861) and material on the estate of John Morris of Newark, with sketch maps, and financial documents dating from as early as 1804.

Box 2: Legal Documents (2 folders,1849-1862), mostly Newark-related. Contents include bills relating to the refurbishment of Washington Park (1849), papers relating to M. Smith Salter's invention of a furnace for making wrought iron (1850), documents relating to the Chadwick Patent Leather Manufacturing Co. (1856), etc.

Box 2: Veterans' Affairs (1850-1863, 2 folders). These files include correspondence from veterans and their families, claim forms filed by veterans and family members, correspondence from officers regarding the military service of individuals, marriage and death certificates, communications from clergy, copies of muster rolls, receipts and lists of paid claims, notes, etc. of New Jersey Civil War veterans, many of them from Newark.

Box 3: Veterans' Affairs (1864-1867)

Box 4: Veterans' Affairs (1869-1875)

Box 5: Veterans' Affairs (6 folders, 1875-1883) and Ward General Hospital (1 folder, 1865), containing printed General and Special Orders, and one form

Box 5: Photographs, 3 photographs, probably all of Etta Brady (only 1 is labeled with the name)

Box 5: Printed Matter (2 folders), miscellaneous, including broadsides, testimonials, legal documents, poetry, a Sanitary Commission Appeal (1861), hospital application forms, National Home for Disabled Soldiers announcements, a Whig circular (1840), and ephemera. NOTE: The second folder of printed material contains a number of (family?) items, Presbyterian Church brochures (1925), theater programs (1917, 1925), and a program for the laying of the cornerstone of the Newark Museum (1925) that date from after Marcus L. Ward's death.

Box 6: Clippings (1850-1872, and unarranged), most are from Newark papers.Topics are life and work of MW, his family, Civil War-era news, Newark history and politics, New Jersey politics, and general topics. The box contains 2 folders of unarranged clippings

Box 7: Clippings (unarranged, 2 folders), including some items dating from the early twentieth century

Box 7: Family Papers (3 folders): two folders of financial and business papers of Marcus L. Ward and Son and other companies, many signed by or involving prominent citizens of Newark; and one folder of family correspondence, business papers, and ephemera belonging to Marcus Ward, Jr. (1873-1910)

Box 7: Miscellaneous, 5 folders: including an indenture of the New Jersey Library Association regarding construction of a lecture room for the New Jersey Art Association, a draft of an act incorporating the Newark Lime and Cement Co.; a Newark rent book; four pages from the diary of a child of Silas Conduit, including a description of a visit of Henry Clay to Newark in November 1833; and papers relating to Jacob Ward and J. M. Ward
FormatsPhotographic materials; Textual materials
SubjectsBusiness / Commerce; Civil War; Industry / Manufacturing; Military History; Politics and Government; Poverty / Philanthropy / Charities; Science / Invention
Time Periods18th Century; 19th Century; 20th Century
LanguagesEnglish; French; German
Access policyOpen for research
Finding AidYes
Finding Aid NotePaper