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WARD, Artemas

1727–1800

Biography

WARD, Artemas, (father of Artemas Ward, Jr.), a Delegate and a Representative from Massachusetts; born in Shrewsbury, Mass., November 26, 1727; attended the common schools and was prepared for college by a private tutor; was graduated from Harvard College in 1748; justice of the peace in 1752; a representative in the general assembly many terms and served in the executive council; lieutenant colonel in the provincial army during the French and Indian War; appointed brigadier general by the provincial congress of Massachusetts on October 27, 1774, and was made commander in chief of the Massachusetts forces on May 19, 1775; appointed by the Continental Congress as major general on June 17, 1775; chief justice of the court of common pleas of Worcester County in 1776 and 1777; president of the Massachusetts Executive Council 1777-1779; member of the State house of representatives 1779-1785, serving as speaker in 1785; Member of the Continental Congress 1780-1781; elected to the Second and Third Congresses (March 4, 1791-March 3, 1795); died in Shrewsbury, Mass., October 28, 1800; interment in Mountain View Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

American Antiquarian Society

Worcester, MA
Papers: 1 box of letters and documents (1661-1788) in Ward family papers, 17 volumes and 38 boxes.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 26 items.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Microfilm: 1721-1953, 5 reels. Part of the Ward family papers; originals in Massachusetts Historical Society. Printed guide.
Papers: 1755-1758, 2 items. Commissions of Artemas Ward, 1755-1758.
Microfilm: 1775, 1 orderly book. Orderly book of Artemas Ward, 1775 June 7-Aug. 1.
Papers: In the Meshech Weare Papers, 1776-1785, 2 volumes and 1 folder. Correspondents include Artemis Ward.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: 1775, 1 volume. An orderly book of Benjamin Whipple, 29 June- 9 July 1775. The book contains recorded orders from Gen. Artemas Ward and George Washington regarding sentry duties; and orders from Little regarding cleanliness.
Papers: In the Horace N. Fisher Papers, ca. 1775-1958, 4 boxes and 1 oversize box. Other authors include Artemas Ward.
Papers: In the Hancock Family Papers, 1728-1815; 5 boxes, 3 vols, 2 folders and 1 oversize. Correspondents include Artemas Ward.
Papers: In the Mellen Family Papers, 1770-1881, 6 boxes and 1 oversize box. The papers include letters written to Artemas Ward during the American Revolution.
Papers: In the John Thomas Papers, ca. 1693-1925; 4 narrow boxes, 2 cased volumes, 1 extra tall cased volume, 1 folder, and 1 oversize container. Correspondents include Artemas Ward.
Papers: In the Ward Family Papers, 1721-1953; 2 narrow boxes, 3 volumes, and 6 extra tall volumes. Artemas Ward's papers relate to his participation in campaigns at Ft. Edward and Ft. Ticonderoga, the siege of Boston, and as head of the Eastern Dept., Continental Army; his duties as Shrewsbury official and speaker of the Massachusetts House; his term as a member of the Board of Overseers at Harvard College; his activities with the Continental Congress concerning political, State and Federal affairs; and to Shays' Rebellion.
Papers: In the Ward Family Papers II, 1739-1825, 1 folder and 1 folder of photocopies. A small collection of papers of the Ward family of Shrewsbury, Mass., containing family correspondence between Artemas, his wife Sarah, and their sons Ithamar and Thomas W. Ward. There are also a few items written to Ward as commander of the American forces in Boston (1775-76), including a letter from George Washington of 16 June 1776, and a letters patent for land signed by John Q. Adams.
Papers: In the Ward-Perry-Dexter Papers, 1733-1927, 1 box and 1 oversize box. Persons represented include Artemas Ward.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1775-1779. 9 letters. Official correspondence. Finding aid in repository.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Martyn, Charles. Life of Artemas Ward, The First Commander-In-Chief of the American Revolution. Port Washington and New York: Kennikat, 1970.

Smith, James Ferrell. "The Rise of Artemas Ward, 1727-1777: Authority, Politics, and Military Life in Eighteenth Century Massachusetts." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1990.

Ward, Artemas. The Artemas Ward Papers [microform]. Frederick S. Allis, Jr., editor; R. Bruce Pruitt, associate editor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1967.

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