Recently I found out that my great-great grandfather, the Rev. Moses Ward (1796-1884, son of Stephen), had written a manuscript in the 1870s or earlier about his life and adventures in his younger days in the wilderness of Ontario and Allegany Counties, New York.
Portions of this manuscript have found their way into at least two history books. The two that I know about are;
1. History of Ontario County New York (1878 ) by Prof. W.H.McIntosh
2. Beers History of Allegany County [NY]1806-1879
Here is one of the two passages believed to have come from the manuscript and found in the History of Ontario County:
Chapter XIV: Moses WARD, Sr., says, "In 1803 my father was served, and having nothing with which to make payment, was taken to the old jail. His mother carried provisions from Centreville, as prisoners for debt had to board themselves. A dozen prisoners were then confined in the old log jail, and their only crime was poverty."
In the History of Allegany County, the writer was even more liberal in his use of passages from the manuscript. In fact they take up two whole chapters and part of a third: Chapter 12 starting on page 70 is titled “A Boy’s Adventures in Allegany County in the Early Years of this Century”, and Chapter 13 starting on page 73 is titled Hunting and Trapping In Allegany Sixty Year Ago - Moses Ward’s Narrative Continues. Here is a short excerpt from Chapter 12:
We are fortunately enabled to add to our general sketch of pioneer life in western new York a most interesting narrative of actual personal experience......It is copied from a hitherto unpublished manuscript prepared by the venerable Moses Ward, of Cheshire, Ontario county. He writes as follows:
"I was born in the town of Granville, State of Massachusetts (Berkshire county), in the year 1796, on the 7 th of December. In the year 1798 my father, being poor and hearing much of the good country called 'the Genesee country,' came to see for himself. He liked the country and bought near Centrefield, three miles west of Canandaigua village, and moved in 1799. There I spent my childhood. Our family were poor and destitute, and sickness prevailed through all the land."
These passages have been a boon to me as I found out the names of two of Moses’ sisters from them: Polly Ward Hawley (wife of Andrew Hawley) and Phebe Ward Abbott (wife of Salmon Abbott). These two couples were early pioneers in Allegany County (Oil Creek/Cuba area) and Moses’ many visits to them from the family home in the Town of Canandaigua in Ontario County were the source of many of the adventures he wrote about.
FYI the Allegany County history can be read online in its entirety by following this link: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/fhlcatalog/supermain...
I have this questions for the readers of this query: Has the manuscript written by Moses Ward survived the passage of time..at least 130 years?
If it is located in the collection of the local historical society, museum, or even a private collection, I would very much appreciate having this information.
Welland, Ontario, Canada