Collecting Delaware Books

Christopher L. Ward 1868-1943

This article was written in 2005 and did not appear in the original Collecting Delaware Books newsletter.

christopher l ward
Christopher L. Ward

Christopher L. Ward was one of the many Delawareans who were writing in the 1920s and 30s. His output included history, novels, parody, and legal volumes. There is no good biography of Ward. The late Jerry Shields collected copious notes on Ward. After his death these notes went to an unidentified buyer. It is hoped a biography will eventually result. Ward's papers are stored at the University of Delaware Morris Library and are cataloged in the online catalog.

Ward's mother was the daughter of Dr. Lewis Porter Bush, a prosperous physician who served a term as head of the Delaware Medical Society and, briefly, as president of the University of Delaware. The family fortune was largely in shipping, stemming from Capt. Samuel Bush who, in 1774, had begun the first regular shipping line between Wilmington and Philadelphia and expanded it after being active in the patriot cause during the American Revolution.

Christopher was raised in Dr. Bush's household at 606 French St. after his father, Henry, shot a man during a fight and went to jail in Pennsylvania. His mother, Martha, brought her young children back to Wilmington to live, so that Christopher and his siblings, while their name was Ward, were raised as Bushes.

In 1899, Delaware passed the laws that eventually made the state the home for America's corporations. Ward and Josiah Marvel, 1866-1930, had been instrumental in drafting the laws and founded one of the law firms that specialized in serving corporations. The firm is known today as CSC or Corporation Service Company. The success of the business gave Ward the money and leisure to pursue scholarly and literary activities.

Ward was an amateur historian, but his writings are well respected. Even his novels often had a historical basis. When writing serious history, Ward used "Christopher L. Ward" as his name. In fiction and literature he dropped the middle initial. At least three of his books were translated to Swedish.

Ward's Books



Parody & Other Literature


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