University of Rochester Library Bulletin: Henry Augustus Ward and American Museum Development

Volume 38 · 1985
Henry Augustus Ward and American Museum Development

The following essay is adapted from a somewhat longer article, "Henry A. Ward: the Merchant Naturalist and American Museum Development, "Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History (now theArchives of Natural History), 9 (1980): 647-661. Portions of the original article are reprinted with permission of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History.

Henry A. Ward was prominent among a group of naturalists and entrepreneurs who, in the last half of the nineteenth century, shaped the development of museums across the country. His own initiative was evident in universities that developed classroom teaching aids and research collections, in the major museums built in urban areas from Boston to San Francisco, and in the smaller but locally significant holdings of individuals and cities whose collections formed a counterpart to libraries. The significance and widespread influence of Ward's Natural Science Establishment is documented in archival collections at the University of Rochester, and indeed in museums throughout the United States and the world, as the companion essay by Susan Sheets-Pyenson indicates.l

Traditionally, people who sold specimens were collectors themselves, engaged in exchange with like-minded friends and selling to naturalists who were developing private gardens and displays. From the colonial period on, North Americans had provided materials to their European counterparts. Only a few, like John Bartram of Pennsylvania, obtained a small income from sales, to travel, to build their own collections, and to supplement a family income.2 In the nineteenth century a system of outright sales became more common, responding to the development of public or semi-public collections, new marketing opportunities provided by scientific periodicals, the sponsored travel of capable collectors, and even a changing attitude toward the business of science.

About the middle of the nineteenth century dealers began to advertise themselves as buyers and sellers of natural history specimens and by the end of the century they were a significant component of scientific interchange. The prevalance of so many and the persistence of a few such agencies were directly related to a museum movement which swept western Europe and reached into colonial outposts. Dealers translated individual cabinets into public displays, served as conduits for exchange, and even sponsored expeditions to acquire specimens required by their customers. Typical of small, private businesses, their turnover rate was high and only a few achieved significant success.

Henry A. Ward became the most prominent of these dealers in the United States. The size and longevity of his enterprise owes less to his business acumen (he went bankrupt in 1874 and 1884) than to the vision he had of educational museums, and to the extensive financial underwriting provided by a grandfather, Dr. Levi Ward.3Simply in mass of material, Ward's Natural Science Establishment surpassed the holdings of Fred L. Jencks of Providence, A. E. Foote of Philadelphia, J. M. Southwick of Providence (and later Boston), Wallace and Hollingsworth of New York, and similar dealers in minerals, shells, fossils, skins, and a variety of natural history specimens throughout the United States.4

Ward was also distinguished by his breadth of vision. Like other dealers, he started with a personal collection, but he harbored an ambition to found an educational museum. While his competitors advertised individual specimens, Ward sketched plans for large museum displays and even entire museums, organized educational series of minerals and fossils, and provided descriptive labels. Eventually he was able to offer not only natural history items but also advice on preparation, preservation, and presentation to inexperienced directors of understaffed new museums. College faculty and administrators developing museums turned first to Ward for supplies of established quality, knowing he would offer reasonable rates, and, if necessary, barter goods rather than demand immediate monetary payment.

Ward reflected the mobility of American scientists in the last half of the nineteenth century. He also experienced the insecurity of the amateur, with limited academic training in this period of scientific professionalization. His career followed no predictable path as he shifted from professor to museum curator, to mining consultant, to businessman, to explorer, to, finally, a private collector of meteorites. Throughout his life he moved among established scientists, museum administrators, and interested amateurs with apparent ease, but without finding a permanent niche. Details of his early years help explain the gregarious adult who lacked close friends and the businessman whose salesmanship outran his bookkeeping skills.

As a boy in upstate New York he had grown up under the supervision of relatives, who intermittently assumed some of the responsibility evaded by Ward's absentee father. Subsequent guilt about the inadequacy of this effort may have kept Ward's uncle Levi A. Ward (and his heirs) as sustaining investors in the scientific warehouse. Family relationships were often uncomfortable and marred by financial frustrations on both sides. The youth's enthusiasm and congeniality helped forestall unpleasant encounters after his mentors recognized that he was often more interested in hiking than schooling. He introduced himself to Rochester's most eminent naturalist, Chester Dewey, in the late 1840s and later met Louis Agassiz of Harvard University. When Ward dropped out of Williams College, Agassiz offered him a place (literally at the bottom, in the basement unpacking fish) at the Cambridge laboratory.5 In the summer of 1854, obviously eager to leave Agassiz's tedious assignment, the twenty-year-old Ward accepted an invitation to serve as companion to a wealthy preparatory school friend who was going to study in France. Once in Paris, Ward attended lectures at the School of Mines and the Jardin des Plantes, but without taking a degree.

The years in Europe from 1854 to 1860 were fundamental to his later career. He acquired a taste for travel and became acquainted with museums and dealers not only in France but throughout western and northern Europe, Britain, and countries bordering on the Mediterranean. Financially on his own after 1855 (but with some support from relatives), he intermittently continued his study in Paris, conducted collecting expeditions in nearby regions, and sold duplicates to gain money for more travel and exchanges. Gradually he developed the idea of an outstanding geological museum to be affiliated with the University of Rochester. This museum was apparently intended as a kind of counterpart to Agassiz's collections of comparative zoology at Harvard, and certainly reflected Ward's aspiration as well as the collaboration he saw between university faculties and the major museums in Paris. Mineralogy had been his primary interest while living in upstate New York, and in France he added a serious interest in paleontology.6 Slowly, more often by barter than purchase, Ward built a mineralogical collection, storing materials in his room and, when he ran out of space, sending home boxes of specimens. By his own account, he visited eighty public and private collections during this period.7 Consciously he studied the museums for models he might incorporate into the museum he envisioned building in Rochester. His ambition grew and he began to collect cast impressions of well-known fossils, creating molds from which he could recast copies for Rochester and other museums as well. While these sales eventually materialized, he was unable to gain advances from American institutions and he was forced to abandon plans to go around the world.8 His uncle, too, issued an ultimatum to spend no more money, shrewdly observing, "you can no more be satisfied with your collection than a miser with his wealth."9

Within a year after his return in 1860 Ward was appointed Professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Rochester and was earnestly persuading the cautious president and board of trustees to purchase his collection. He solicited advice about the preservation of specimens from leading geologists who soon became interested in the large holdings of the unusual young man in Rochester.l0 Local support was essential and eventually 40,000 "handsomely mounted" specimens were on display on the third floor of the University's Anderson Hall, purchased for $20,000 by a group of local business and political leaders. Much of the money went to build glass-and-wood cases and to complete display series, leaving apparently little profit with which to repay the initial Ward investment in specimens. The result was disappointing to Ward because he had hoped for a special building, designed as a museum, not simply a series of connecting classrooms. To the college president and to his friends he complained about the cramped quarters, inadequate lighting, and lack of provision for new accessions or proper care of the holdings.l1 Ward found national interest in his materials among geologists more promising than that of his own colleagues and students. Gradually he directed his attention toward that larger audience and the business of sale and exchange began to override his academic duties.

Shortly after settling in Rochester, Ward invited several leading geologists--including Edward Hitchcock of Amherst College, Benjamin Silliman of Yale College, and James Hall of the New York State Survey--to visit his warehouse in Rochester. Most were sufficiently impressed to provide supportive reviews of Ward's museum and to exchange with or to purchase from the establishment. By mid-century colleges and states were systematically building mineralogical collections for study purposes and a few, including New York State, had buildings designed to house scientific displays. These incipient movements fit well with Ward's own initiative. He was hired by Matthew Vassar in 1863 to organize a mineralogical and geological series for the new women's college in Poughkeepsie and shortly after the Civil War he designed an entire museum building for the University of Virginia.l2

In 1863 he returned to Europe to acquire materials, minerals, and additional casts of fossils, including the tremendous Megatherium cuvieri, a South American land sloth that was 24 feet high and 10 feet long.l3 To the European cast series Ward added more American fossils, thanks to exchanges with Hitchcock and Hall as well as the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. By 1865 he had an educational series of over 500 casts. Orders for all or part of the series, which had small individual items as well as several imposing large specimens, came swiftly from colleges throughout the country and Alexander Winchell wrote from the University of Michigan that the Establishment was without comparison "in terms of originality and venture and pluck and real usefulness" in the area of educational resources.l4

When Ward's business income was sufficient, he hired Grove Karl Gilbert, a recent Rochester graduate, as his assistant. Soon Gilbert was supervising the operation in Rochester and responsible for building displays elsewhere. This left Ward more time to travel, to promote his holdings, and to expand his warehouse. Eventually his staff, too, headed small expeditions to gather material. Ward continued to purchase major collections as they became available as well as miscellaneous items from amateurs and others like the Tennessee farmer who offered him a "half bushel" of unidentified fossils.l5For the next thirty years the process of purchase and accumulation barely stayed ahead of income and Ward faced the constant threat of financial failure. Despite this ominous possibility, Ward always seemed to assume that his next sale would be better and that it was more essential to keep up with demand than to balance the books. With only slight exaggeration William Hornaday described Ward as having "the nervous energy of an electric motor, the imagination and vision of a Napoleon, the collecting tentacles of an octopus, and the poise of a Chesterfield." Hornaday continued, "He loved money--but only in order that he might immediately spend it on trips, labor, and specimens."l6 Burdened by financial demands Ward flirted briefly with geological mining activity in the West and South but found no easy answers in the consulting business, either.l7 In the meantime the Rochester operation continued to have sales sufficient to support the Establishment, if not to realize much profit.

The size and quality of the natural history warehouse in Rochester had surprised and impressed the leading scientists who visited in the early 1860s and, despite serious losses of material and some buildings by fires in 1869 and 1874, the business continued to expand. Once his mineral and paleontological series were well established, Ward added zoological specimens (mounted specimens and skeletons) and hinted that botany was a long-range possibility for his enterprise. Fully involved in the business after 1869 and forced by Gilbert's decision to join a geological survey to take personal charge again, Ward planned ways to stimulate greater demand for his supplies and tried to think more broadly about how his business should be run. He apparently realized that his talents and opportunities were tied to the business rather than to the museum aspects of his enterprise and about this time ceased to call his warehouse a museum.l8

The diverse operation demanded additional staff to prepare and mount material for sale. Apparently unable to hire local people with sufficient skill, Ward persuaded preparators in Europe to emigrate and they became the nucleus of the best shop for taxidermy and osteology in the country.l9 Drawn by the opportunity to learn new techniques from the Europeans, American preparators joined as well, including William Hornaday, who would become a leading taxidermist and early promoter of the habitat group idea before becoming head of the Brooklyn Zoo, and Carl Akeley, who developed the modern techniques for casting and eventually designed the hall of Africa at the American Museum of Natural History.20 Ward found new museums eager to purchase finished and mounted specimens in both geology and zoology and began to produce custom work on request. Whenever possible he traveled, acquiring new specimens from literally throughout the world. In the United States and on his travels, he took every opportunity to publicize his holdings. His energy and enthusiasm generated sales for the Establishment and aided in material ways the development of museums nationally and internationally.

The boosterism which provided an early impetus to the college museums was not sustained. After 1876 Ward's typical sales to colleges were small, although he continued to supply educational series to individual departments. In fact, the steady demands for more modest educational "type" series of minerals (graded by quantity and complexity for individual children, preparatory schools, and colleges) and of casts were the mainstay of the business. Ward publicized his most dramatic achievements, such as the development of complete museums, of large fossil casts, and later, of zoological groups; but the income from the sale of smaller series was essential to the Establishment and perhaps of greater significance to the history of science education than the grand models. These were also easier materials to acquire than the more exotic fauna desired by large museums. Family financial backers appreciated this fact and pressed Ward to create a larger base of customers, such as individual naturalists and schools, which might pay in cash.21 Ward complied but continued to promote the idea of large educational museums and dramatic displays.

The chronic financial difficulties of the Establishment were to some degree personal, but more influenced by circumstances than Ward and his backers generally recognized. Indeed, Ward had a collector's instinct that could not easily be curbed. Moreover, the warehouse operation could not be static and had to respond to the public interests, which appeared to be shifting from geology toward zoology and eventually stressed ethnology and anthropology. 22 At the same time he faced a backlog of debts, a growing family, a staff of salaried workers, and an enterprise dependent on new acquisitions. Ward also confronted another obstacle, subtle but formidable: that is, the naturalists' tradition of exchange and the uneasiness of scientists with regard for payment for specimens, especially given the "unsavory commercialism"of some dealers. Ward recognized that lingering suspicion about scientific business when he wrote about Caeser Godeffroy, a merchant who had a museum and warehouse in Hamburg. He credited Godeffroy with a storehouse that was an "auxiliary to the purest, highest research" and demonstrated that "commerce counts it an honor to serve original investigation."23 Ward, throughout his life, was somewhat defensive about his failure to establish the anticipated scientific career in research and teaching. He was also battling the reputation of other dealers whose materials were overpriced, misleadingly described, or (especially in the case of anthropological materials) outright frauds.24

Although there was a tradition of selling private collections, the most honorable disposition of a good collection by an aging naturalist and his or her heirs was by donation. Between naturalists, exchange rather than sale was common and Ward, meeting expectations and personal preference, continued this tradition for a time, although it worked more effectively for hobbyists than businessmen.25 As early as 1863 Ward provided Edward Hitchcock at Amherst with some of his fossil casts from Europe as an exchange for permission to make copies of Hitchcock's American fossils. The Smithsonian, with its stated policy of "no purchases," offered to trade materials and, in addition, was often willing to pay to have specimens mounted by the Establishment's staff. P. T. Barnum's technique for providing a museum for Tufts University was to give the institution his dead circus animals or "their exchange value at Ward's. 26 Even when payment was understood, Ward found purchasers (from wealthy businessmen like Ezra Cornell to children beginning collections) asking for a "special price."27Because his establishment was a business, Ward found he could not compete with the exchange system or meet the expectations of his suppliers. As he explained to ornithologist William Brewster, "as I buy only to sell again, you will readily understand that I cannot offer any such prices as would be paid by amateur collectors."28Management of both a money-making business operation and an exchange could not be sustained.

To advance his business, Ward cultivated acquaintances in local communities and among college faculties and trustees. He worked with college presidents such as Andrew D. White at Cornell and Alexander Winchell at Syracuse University. He found supporters willing to publicize his efforts in scientific periodicals.29 Ward also wrote news releases and catalogues, designed to be educational as well as promotional. Ward did some advertising in naturalists' magazines but felt that financial investment had minimal results.30 In 1880 he established his own Ward's Natural Science Bulletin, which appeared irregularly for four years. The pamphlet publication contained a variety of shorter pieces designed to interest general readers in the thrill of foreign explorations, offer advice to amateur taxidermists, highlight recent museum developments nationally, and generally serve as a demonstration of the range of materials and skills offered by the Establishment.3l

As Ward began to saturate the college market, and his workshops and warehouse had greater fixed costs for salaries and maintenance, he found the exhibition circuit a useful vehicle for promoting his minerals and mounted specimens, and for supporting local scientific aspirations for a museum: Like many other Americans, Ward had visited the Paris Exposition in 1855, just four years after the successful Crystal Palace Exhibition in London. In the post-Civil War period, industrial and other fairs in the United States began to gain more than local attention.32 Ward had taken a small display to the Chicago Exposition of 1874 and had some success selling materials there.33 In 1876 he arranged to present natural science materials including impressive mounted animals and large crystals at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia; he also sold some specimens to the Smithsonian for their display. A selected group was subsequently displayed at the American Museum of Natural History, with the expectation that the New York museum might purchase them.34

In following years Ward organized displays at regional agricultural and industrial expositions in Pittsburgh, Louisville, Bloomington, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee, as well as at major exhibitions like the New Orleans Industrial and Cotton Exposition in 1884. His ambitious young group of preparators organized a Society of American Taxidermists in 1884 and sponsored three competitive displays (in Rochester, New York City, and Boston) in order to demonstrate the high standards of current work in taxidermy and to demonstrate recent technical and aesthetic advances.35 The society underscored significant changes in museum theory and display, which Ward himself promoted only indirectly, that undoubtedly contributed to the public interest in museums.

In 1875 Ward had visited London and the British Museum and written home enthusiastically, "The Natural Sciences are carrying before them popular and public favor in England--the Museums are being enlarged and renovated and their classification brought forward to the line of modern investigations."36 The newer urban museums could, if they wished, take advantage of new preparation techniques as well as methods of display that were shifting from a taxonomic to an ecological approach. Thoroughness, representation of actual specimens, and display by scientific order of species had characterized the cabinets of local natural history societies and of most college museums. As Ward suggested, however, the British Museum at South Kensington represented a new intention, creating educational displays with representative rather than comprehensive collections and working toward placing zoological specimens in natural context.

When William Hornaday presented his "Orang Outangs in the Treetop" at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the movement toward habitat groups in the United States had begun.37 Much of the development of such groups took place in the 1880s and 1890s, particularly at the American Museum of Natural History (founded in 1869), the United States National Museum within the Smithsonian Institution (1880), the Milwaukee Public Museum (1883), and the Columbian Field Museum (1894). Many of the preparators who joined these institutions had been trained at Ward's. By the late 1870s the Establishment had also become American distributor for the famous Auzoux maps and charts and Blaschka glass models.38 These were golden years at Ward's. The Establishment, adjoining the University of Rochester, grew from a trio of warehouses to fifteen buildings, and the staff increased from five to twenty-two persons between 1871 and 1882.39 When local citizens occassionally complained about the stench from the osteologists' pits, the city required elimination of the most noxious problems but otherwise seemed proud of the business that attracted visitors from around the world.

The interplay between Ward's Establishment and the Milwaukee Public Museum offers a good example of the interdependence of Ward's and the new urban natural history museums. The Natural History Society of Wisconsin, led by the principal of the German-English Academy in Milwaukee, had collected natural history materials for two decades and by the late 1870s had aspirations for a public museum.40 After the close of an Industrial Exposition in Milwaukee in 1881, the Society was offered space to display material in the southeast wing of the Exposition building (for a charge of $800 per year). After some discussion the Society agreed, on the condition that the city assume responsibility for the care and maintenance of the specimens. Local boosterism supported the cultural aspirations of Wisconsin's largest city and Milwaukee developed a "free" metropolitan museum.4l Carl Doerflinger, the first custodian (curator), opened a correspondence with Ward in an effort to expand the society's holdings. He suggested that if Ward made "a grand exhibit here I shall do my best to raise a subscription among prominent citizens to buy a part of the collection at the close of the exhibition and make arrangements that you will have a fair prospect of disposing of the balance next year."42 Opportunity knocked. Ward negotiated for a subsidy to transport his materials and argued that he would bring only a large display sufficient to be educational.43 Arrangements were made and the first annual report of the museum in 1883 indicated that Ward's collection (accounting for more than half of the floor space) was the "chief center" of attraction to visitors.44 Despite opposition from one local newspaper and others described by Doerflinger as a "coterie not favorable to scientific progress and public education," a $12,000 subscription was raised.45 The sale brought an essential cash flow to Ward, but as he wrote to Doerflinger, "My Milwaukee success was a dearly won victory, one more such would ruin me."46 He had sold for forty percent off his catalogue prices, list prices which were already marginally close to dealer costs. Together, the society's holdings and Ward's exhibit became the core of the Milwaukee museum, whose specimen additions in the next two decades were small. Late in the 1880s, two of Ward's preparators, William Morton Wheeler and Carl Akeley, joined the museum staff, and thereafter the museum had little need to order prepared specimens.47 It is of tangential interest that one of Ward's sons, Henry L. Ward, became director of the museum in 1902.

As the Milwaukee Public and other museums outgrew the traditional services offered by Ward's of Rochester, the museum builder of necessity became increasingly a museum supplier. The Establishment was compelled to reorganize once again in 1892, with cousin Frank A. Ward becoming Treasurer.48 The next year, after a vigorous campaign, Ward sold much of the Establishment's zoological material, on display at the Columbian Exposition, to Marshall Field for $100,000. This, with Frederic Putnam's anthropological material, formed the basis for the new Field Columbian Museum in Chicago.49 Henry Ward thereafter spent little time with the business, which turned more and more to research equipment for medical schools, custom taxidermy, and a variety of standard laboratory equipment. Ward's Natural Science Establishment had been eclipsed by the very museums it had helped to establish. The most successful museums took only a decade or so to begin to sponsor their own expeditions and to hire trained staff to prepare specimens for display. None of Ward's staff followed his example and became businessmen, perhaps because they had experienced first hand the uncertainties of private business while in Rochester. As Frederic Lucas later reflected, "We all have an admiration for martyrs, however little we may wish to play the role ourselves, and while the Ward Establishment may not have been profitable for its founder and immediate supporters, yet it certainly has played no small part in the development of our museum [the American Museum in New York] and other scientific institutions."50 The museums, already well supplied with zoological and geological materials, were turning to anthropology and ethnology, and the materials required quite different techniques for collecting and preparation. Ward devoted the rest of his life to the collection and description of meteorites. By the time of his accidental death in 1906, Ward had perhaps the largest private collection in the world.

Ward's career was not traditional. For a brief time in his middle years he appeared to be proceeding along an academic track and, at times, he hinted that his ambitions in science had been thwarted.5l Yet he published only one early scientific article and never committed himself to research activity.52 Botanist John Torrey had warned Ward, "the passion for collecting is a very strong one--and I have felt its power. But if carried too far, it prevents one from giving time enough to researches that extend the boundaries of science."53 Ward did not heed the advice. Perhaps he realized that his own talent was in acquiring new materials and promoting their display. The pattern of his life suggests that he was restless with day-to-day management and unwilling to concentrate his attention on scientific investigation. Ward was a maverick. He was also highly capable, able to operate between the amateur and professional modes of his period. His own ambiguous role permitted him to play a unique part in museum development in the United States. As a colleague wrote, with scarcely exaggerated praise, Henry A. Ward "did more to inspire, to build up, and to fill up American museums than any other ten men of his time or since his time. But for him, our American museums would never have forged ahead as they did from 1870 to 1890.54



1.    The University of Rochester Library, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, now holds the extensive Henry A. Ward Papers (hereafter HAW), an important resource for historians of science and culture. The author especially thanks Karl Kabelac and Mary Huth for their assistance in using this collection.

2.    Raymond P. Stearns, Science in the British Colonies of North America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1970).

3.    A grandson, Roswell Ward, has written a book-length, unannotated biography, Henry A. Ward: Museum Builder to America (Rochester: University of Rochester, 1948). Also see Augustus Hopkins Strong, Henry A. Ward: Reminiscence and Appreciation (Rochester: Rochester Historical Society, 1922), and William T. Hornaday, "The King of Museum Builders," The Commercial Travelers Home Magazine, 6 February 1896: 147-159.

4.    No systematic work has been done on these scientific dealers, although their role, too, was very important. Those mentioned here corresponded with Ward and advertised in such publications as The Naturalist and The Naturalists' Directory.

5.    Ward's uneventful months as workman go unnoted in Edward Lurie, Louis Agassiz: A Life in Science(Chicago: University of Chicago press, 1960).

6.    New discoveries and theoretical controversies made paleontology one of the more exciting fields for a bright student; see Peter J. Bowler, Fossils and Progress: Paleontology and the Idea of Progressive Evolution in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Science History Publications, 1976).

7.    Ward to James Orton, 7 November 1856, HAW. The best sources for Ward's years abroad are his own notebooks, newspaper clippings from Genessee Evangelist, and a series of letters written to James Orton and Chester A. Dewey, HAW.

8.    Ward to Orton, 15 February 1858, and Joseph Henry to Ward, 21 May 1858, HAW.

9.    Levi Ward to Henry Ward, 8 February and 4 April 1860, HAW. By this time Ward had mailed home nearly ninety boxes of specimens and, by his uncle's calculation, owed $4,350 to the family.

10.    Advice came quickly from virtually a who's who of leading natural scientists, including Eben Horsford, 6 September 1862; Joseph Leidy, 4 September 1862; Benjamin Silliman, Jr., 5 September 1862; Spencer F. Baird, 6 September 1862; C. F. Chandler, 8 September 1862; Louis Agassiz, 7 October 1862; and Samuel H. Scudder, 4 April 1865; all in HAW.

11.    Noted in Arthur J. May, "History of the University of Rochester" (typescript, 1977), chapters 6 and 7, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Rochester.

12.    Miles Parker Jewett to Ward (January 1862), Ward to Lewis Brooks, 13 November 1875, and Ward to Frances H. Smith, 13 March 1876, HAW.

13.    Ward claimed to have "pillaged" Europe and sent home seventy boxes of specimens costing over $8,500. A fine catalogue, Notice of the Megatherium Cuvieri, The Giant Ground Sloth of South America (n.p., n.d.), with an introduction by Henry A. Ward dated 1 July 1864, traced the origins and significance of the specimen.

14.    Winchell to Ward, 7 July 1870, HAW.

15.    William James Vaughan to Ward, 7 February 1876, HAW.

16.    William Hornaday, "Eighty Years of Fascinating Work," Hornaday Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (hereafter LC).

17.    Ward worked with the Midas Gold Mining Company in Montana and then with Cyrus H. McCormick's gold mining venture in North Carolina from 1866 to 1869. There were risks to such involvement, which Ward managed to escape, but see Gerald D. Nash, Scientists in Conflict: The Beginnings of the Oil Industry in California (San Marino: Huntington Library, 1968).

18.    The business operated under a variety of titles: "Henry A. Ward--Ward's Museum of Mineralogy and Zoology," "Ward and Howell," and by the late 1870s, "Ward's Natural Science Establishment."

19. Initially he hired Louis Charles Roche, an osteologist, and M. Isidore Prevotel, a taxidermist, from Paris; see typescript interview with F. A. Lucas, 24 January 1919, HAW. Later he hired John Martens, of Hamburg, who specialized in large mammals, and Jules F. D. Bailly, who worked with the Verreaux brothers at the Palais Royal, Paris. Other workers included De Kemperer from Belgium, J. W. Scollick from England, "Paul," a cast maker from Italy, and Castens from Germany.

20.   Stephen J. Pyne, Grove Karl Gilbert: A Great Engine of Research (Austin: University of Texas, 1980); James A. Dolph, "Bringing Wildlife to Millions: William Temple Hornaday, The Early Years: 1854-1896" (Ph.D dissertation, University of Massachusetts, 1975); and Mary L. Jobe Akeley, The Wilderness Lives Again: Carl Akeley and the Great Adventure (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1940).

21.    Ward to Levi A. Ward, Detroit, 26 November 1874. Ward outlined his assessment of the financial crisis of that year. He tabulated 281 purchasers from Ward's to that date and indicated he would advertise to expand his base.

22. Curtis Hinsley, Savages and Scientists: The Smithsonian Institution and the Development of American Anthropology, 1846-1910 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981).

23.   "Museum Godeffroy," Popular Science Monthly, 8 (1876): 699-702. Godeffroy was able to take advantage of his merchant shipping line to support an extended network of explorers. See Florence Mann Spoehr, The White Falcon: The House of Godeffroy and Its Commercial and Scientific Role in the Pacific (Palo Alto: Pacific Books , 1963).

24.   Oliver Huntley wrote to Ward, "You have other dealers to thank for the trouble you have in making a trade with individuals. It is a case of 'the burnt child'. . . " Letter, 13 March 1893, HAW.

25.   See David E. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History (London: Allen Lane, 1976).

26. On exchange see Edward Hitchcock, Jr., to Ward, 8 December 1863, and John P. Marshall to Ward, 18 March 1885, and other dates, in HAW.

27.   Ward to Albert Bickmore (American Museum of Natural History), 21 January 1870, HAW.

28.   Ward to Brewster, 30 July 1878, Brewster Papers, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (hereafter MCZ).

29. Burt G. Wilder, "A Museum Exchange," Popular Science Monthly, 8 (1876): 460-463; Joseph E. Leidy inPopular Science Monthly, 16 (1880): 612-614 and in the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia; and Elliott Coues agreed to write a letter of support for Science magazine (Coues to Ward, 22 September 1880,) HAW.

30. A collection of these catalogues is held at the University of Rochester.

31.    Frederic A. Lucas, Fifty Years of Museum Work (New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1933), suggested that the Bulletin was a prototype of twentieth-century membership publications.

32.   Robert W. Rydell, All the World's a Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions, 1876-1916 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985).

33.   Ward to E.W. Blatchford (Chicago Academy of Sciences), 14 September 1875, HAW.

34. Albert S. Bickmore to E. L. Howell, 6 November 1876, HAW.

35.   The Society of American Taxidermists issued three reports, in 1881, 1882, and 1884. A scrapbook kept by Hornaday and the only complete set of reports found by this author are in the hands of Floyd Easterbrook at the Milwaukee Public Museum.

36. Ward to Brooks, Paris, 20 March 1875 (draft), 15 pp., HAW.

37.   "On the Species of Bornean Orangs, with Notes on the Habits," American Association for the Advancement of Science, Proceedings, 28 (1879): 438-455.

38. See "Historical Sketch," Ward's Natural Science Bulletin, 1 (June 1881).

39.   Frederic A. Lucas, Fifty Years of Museum Work, p. 10

40.   Walter B. Hendrickson, "The Forerunners of the Milwaukee Public Museum," Lore 22 (1972): 89-103.

41. Wisconsin legislation (approved 31 March 1882) made the City of Milwaukee responsible to support and maintain "a free museum for the benefit and use of all citizens of said city." Prying sufficient funds from the city's Common Council took several months, however. See Doerflinger to Spencer F. Baird, Assistant Secretary, RU 189, Smithsonian Institution (hereafter SI).

42. Doerflinger to Ward, 26 June 1883, Director's Correspondence, Milwaukee Public Museum (hereafter MPM) in the Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This correspondence dates from 1883 to 1912-and some alphabetical sections are missing; the bulk of the manuscripts post-date 1900.

43.   Ward to Doerflinger, 26 June 1883, MPM.

44.   Milwaukee Public Museum, Annual Report (1883), p. 16.

45.   Doerflinger to Spencer F. Baird, 14 November 1883, RU 189, SI. Later Doerflinger explained to Harold Nehrling (26 April 1903), MPM, that some persons were skeptical of buying the plaster casts from Ward's and insinuated that such imitations were a swindle. Doerflinger's account of the founding of the Milwaukee museum was read at the fiftieth anniversary of the Society, 6 May 1907, and published as The genesis and early history of the Wisconsin Natural History Society at Milwaukee (n.p., n.d.).

46.  Ward to Doerflinger, 23 December 1883, MPM.

47.   Wheeler had been a Milwaukee resident and met Ward when he helped unpack specimens in 1883. From February 1884 to June 1885, he worked at the Establishment in Rochester. He then returned to teaching in Milwaukee before being named Director of the Museum in 1887, at which time he lured Carl Akeley from Rochester to Milwaukee as a staff member.

48.  Each time the Establishment faced financial difficulties, the relatives assumed greater control over the business, based on their initial capital investments; sometimes they urged Henry Ward simply to close shop and divide the remaining assets. For an unusually candid discussion, see Ward to Alexander Agassiz, 2 November 1884, Agassiz Papers, MCZ. At that time Ward estimated his company's worth at about $85,000.

49.  Ward's efforts behind the scenes in Chicago indicate an incredibly shrewd salesperson. Harangued by his cousin in Rochester to sell at half price if necessary and faced by deepening financial panic in the country ("Alas, the Hard Times! That is the rock on which I fear we shall perish."), Ward negotiated calmly and made the $100,000 sale. Ward to unknown, 8 August 1893 (draft); Frank A. Ward to Henry A. Ward, 8 August 1893 and 4 November 1893; and Ward to William Rainey Harper, 30 September 1893, and to A. H. Strong, 21 October 1893, all in HAW.

50.  Lucas, Fifty Years of Museum Work.

51.  Ward to Lewis Brooks, 4 February 1874 (draft), HAW. After spending time browsing among the journals of the Boston Society of Natural History, Ward reported in a rare moment of self-pity, "This reading brings me too clearly back to the life for which I studied and which I anticipated as a student. Now I am wandering about outside of this garden, a higher barrier between me and its coveted fruits. Truly it requires an incessant abnegation on my part to leave all that is so seductive in professional science and to confine myself rigidly and faithfully to its drudgery as a furnisher of materials for others to develop intellectually."

52.  "Note sur La Montagne Nominee Gebel-Nakous ou Montagne de la Cloche," Bulletin of the Geological Society of France, 13 (3 March 1856): 389-393.

53.  Torrey to Ward, 18 April 1862, HAW.

54.  William Hornaday, "Eighty Years of Fascinating Work," LC.


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