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[4]

The name of Ward occurs first on the roll of Battle Abbey: “Seven hundred and ten distinguished persons” accompanied William of Normandy to England, among them “Ward, one of the noble captains.”

Her first known ancestor, John Ward, of Gloucester, England, sometime cavalry officer in Cromwell's army, came to this country after the Restoration and settled at Newport in Rhode Island. His son Thomas married Amy Smith, a granddaughter of Roger Williams. Thomas's son Richard became Governor of Rhode Island and had fourteen children, among them Samuel, who in turn became Governor of the Colony, and a member of the Continental Congress. He was the only Colonial governor who refused to take the oath to enforce the Stamp Act. In 1775, in the Continental Congress, he was made Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, which from 1774 to 1776 sat daily, working without intermission in the cause of independence. But though one of the framers of the “Declaration,” he was not destined to be a “signer.” John Adams says of him, “When he was seized with the smallpox he said that if his vote and voice were necessary to support the cause of his country, he should live; if not, he should die. He died, and the cause of his country was supported, but it lost one of its most sincere and punctual advocates.”

The correspondence between Governor Ward and General Washington has been preserved. In one letter the latter says: “I think, should occasion offer, I shall be able to give you a good account of your son, as he seems a sensible, well-informed young man.”

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