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Galbraith Ward and Marquand Ward Letters to Margaret Heyerdahl


Held at: Princeton University Library: University Archives [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: University Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections


Marquand Ward, younger son of Henry Galbraith Ward and Mabel Marquand Ward, was born December 9, 1894. He attended St. George's School in Rhode Island, and enrolled at Princeton University in 1913, graduating with the class of 1917. He sometimes went by the nickname "Mike." After graduation, he joined the 312th Infantry, serving in France, and was killed in battle at the Argonne on October 18, 1918.


Galbraith Ward, the elder son of Henry Galbraith Ward and Mabel Marquand Ward, was born on August 9, 1892. He attended St. George's School in Rhode Island and the Browning School in New York City. He enrolled at Princeton University in 1911, and graduated with the class of 1915. During the first World War, he joined the American Ambulance Field Service, serving in France, and later returned to the United States and joined the 306th Infantry. Galbraith Ward died of pneumonia while serving in France on December 17, 1918.

This collection consists of letters and postcards written by Galbraith Ward, Class of 1915, and Marquand Ward, Class of 1917, to Margaret Heyerdahl, who was their childhood caretaker (or "nurse"). Galbraith and Marquand Ward were sons of Henry Galbraith Ward, a United States Circuit judge, and Mabel Marquand Ward, who died in 1896. Both Ward brothers grew up in New York City, attended Princeton as undergraduates, served in France in World War I, and died in 1918. Allan Marquand, Princeton Class of 1874 and later Professor of Art and Archaeology, was their maternal uncle.

Margaret Heyerdahl took care of the Wards when they were children, and they wrote to her frequently and affectionately throughout their lives. One of Heyerdahl's later addresses was care of Mrs. Tracy Dows in Rhinebeck, New York. Heyerdahl had relatives in Norway.

The boys wrote the earliest letters or notes in the collection when they were still small children. The bulk of the letters span the years 1905 to 1918. They detail the Ward brothers' experiences at St. George's School, a boarding school in Newport, Rhode Island (Galbraith also attended and wrote from the Browning School in New York); at home in New York City, where they lived at 816 Madison Avenue and later at 1018 Madison Avenue; on summer vacations in places such as Shelter Island, Rhode Island and Maine; on pre-war visits to Europe; at Princeton; and from training camps or from the front during the first world war.

One folder contains later, post-war material including clippings about the Wards' deaths, photographs and photographic postcards showing their graves and groups of people in a cemetery in France; correspondence to Margaret Heyerdahl from Galbraith and Marquand's father Henry Galbraith Ward and their aunt Charlotte Ward; as well as correspondence from attorneys and copies of court documents regarding a bequest to Margaret Heyerdahl in Galbraith Ward's will.

A photograph album combines baby and childhood photos with photographs of the Wards as soldiers and clippings about their service and their deaths. Enclosed in the photograph album, now housed in folders, was various 1919 correspondence to Judge Henry Ward regarding the deaths of his sons, as well as some loose photographs, postcards and drawings. A small box of mementoes housed with the photograph album contains a flower from No Man's Land with the note "Galbraith picked it" and a letter from Galbraith; a fabric military collar insignia, and a passport cover from Norway.

The Wards used racial slurs to describe people in a few of their letters.

Letters remain in the order in which they came to the archives. Many letters were bundled together with ribbons or twine; in those cases, letters from one bundle remain together in one folder with their tie. The letters were not (and are not) stored in chronological order, and most folders contain at least some letters from both of the Wards.

Gift of Eleanor Marquand Worth in 2019 (AR.2019.027).

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This collection was processed by Phoebe Nobles in June, 2022. Finding aid written by Phoebe Nobles in June, 2022.

No materials were removed from the collection during 2022 processing.

University Archives
Finding Aid Author
Phoebe Nobles
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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Collection Inventory

Correspondence from Galbraith and Marquand Ward to Margaret Heyerdahl, circa 1890s-1918. 19 folders.
Physical Description

19 folders

Post-war clippings, correspondence and photographs, 1919-1952. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Photograph album and enclosures; box of ephemera, circa 1890s-1919. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

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