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Ship's Crew

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Joseph Ward

Rank(s): Able Seaman

Dates of Service: 7/30/1812 - 2/1/1815

Birth Date: 1794

Death Date: 8/31/1842

Early Life

Joseph Ward was born in 1794. His place of birth is not known.

He was married to Harriet Ward.

Early Experience

Ward is believed to have first entered the navy in 1804 at the age of ten.


Ward transferred from gunboat 85 to USS Constitution as an able seaman on July 30, 1812 . He was discharged on February, 1815 at Boston, Massachusetts.

Battles and Engagements

Ward was on board for the battles with HMS Guerriere, HMS Java, HMS Cyane and HMS Levant.

Ward appointed an acting gunner on USS Experiment on May 1, 1833 at Norfolk, Virginia. He served on that ship until July 12, 1833. Ward died from a cold while serving as a gunner’s mate on USS United States on August 31, 1842 in Chile.

His wife, Harriet Ward, filed a pension petition on April 6, 1846, arguing that Ward had been in the Navy from the age of 10 until his death. The Commissioner of Pensions refused to grant a pension on account that Ward contracted the cold that killed him while given liberty for 48 hours on shore when the ship was docked. The Committee on Naval Affairs countered, arguing “By the trifling recreation granted him he was not absolved form his contract, and was, during the whole period he was on shore, as much subject to orders of his superior officers as he would have been on shipboard.” They believed that Harriet, who was now poor and destitute with a large family to support, was entitled to pension. Harriet began receiving $9.50 per month on January 1, 1846, but she then petitioned that she was entitled to a pension from the date of the death of her husband. The committee agreed to this too.

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