Scope and arrangement
The current collection is clearly the work of Frank Ward in documenting his own life and the lives of his family, particularly that of his father. As such, many of the papers are the miscellaneous gleanings of an old and scattered family that could trace their ancestry to an Andrew Warde who came to America in the early seventeenth century.
The first series is Frank Ward's personal correspondence (including many letters to his mother), papers concerning the doings of family members (obituary notices, details on a patent for a spring-suspended wheel invented by an uncle, etc.) and a small collection of concert announcements and family photographs.
The second series contains the papers of Cyrenus Ward, including drafts of articles, notes, and a group of about sixty tightly wrapped scrolls covered with strange symbols, with only an occasional recognizable word in English. It is assumed that these are Ward's private research notes. Since he was writing on controversial subjects, there is every reason to suspect that he wished to keep some of his thoughts confidential by resorting to a private cipher. There are no references to the cipher in the collection, but the system is clearly Cyrenus's own.
Cyrenus Ward's correspondence is in too poor a condition to have been systematically studied, but the series does contain Ward's membership card in the International Workingman's Association, dated 1870 and signed by Karl Marx.
There are also small series of correspondence for Frank Ward's wife and mother, most of which concern the marriage of Frank and May Ward, and a few items (a death notice and some publishers' brochures) concerning Lester Frank Ward. Again, the poor condition of the collection has precluded systematic arrangement. The last part of this series contains a number of items whose provenance cannot be determined
The Ward family papers are arranged in three series: