Ward, Frederick Townsend

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Frederick Townsend Ward was known as a first-rank military leader through his experiences as a soldier of fortune. Born in Salem in 1831 to Frederick and Elizabeth Ward. Both parents came from seafaring families, but Ward's personal ambition was to pursue a career in the military.

Ward fought with William Walker in attempt to take over the Mexican state of Sonora. He later served with the French Army in Crimea fighting against the Russians and as a member of the famed Texas Rangers.

His travels took him to China where he worked on river boats. When he returned in 1858, the ruling Manchu dynasty was in a fight against the Tai Ping rebellion. The campaign had begun seven years earlier and it appeared that Shanghai would fall to the rebels. Ward approached the Chinese officials with an offer to raise an army and drive out the Tai Pings in return for a substantial fee. Ward's army eventually recaptured a number of cities from the Tai Pings. The rebellion eventually collapsed after the deaths of its leaders in 1863. Ward became a Chinese citizen and taken both a Chinese name and wife. He was given the rank of general in 1861. After his death, hit by an enemy bullet at age 30, Ward was worshipped as a deity and two shrines erected in his honor by the Chinese government.

See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Ward, Frederick Townsend
  • "The Mandarin from Salem: Salem's Frederick Townsend Ward achieved heroic status in China" Salem News, Jan. 9, 2006, p. B5
  • "Chinese honored an 'invincible' leader" Salem Evening News, Aug. 23, 2000, p. A2
  • "Noted Chinese hero is extended cordial welcome to the city; Gen. Tsai received by mayor, council; places wreath on Gen. Ward's grave" Salem Evening News, Sept. 18, 1934, p. 1