Colonel Joshua John Ward was a wealthy plantation owner and politician who lived in the 19th century in South Carolina. He was born in 1800 in Prince George Winyah Parish, which is now known as Georgetown County, and inherited several large plantations from his father.
Ward became one of the largest slaveholders in the South and was known for his brutal treatment of enslaved people. He owned several plantations in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, including the Belle W. Baruch Plantation, which is now a wildlife refuge. Ward’s plantations produced large amounts of rice and other crops, and he amassed a fortune from the labor of enslaved people.
Ward was also involved in politics and served in the South Carolina House of Representatives and the South Carolina Senate. He was a strong advocate for states’ rights and was a vocal supporter of slavery. In 1860, he served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and supported the nomination of John C. Breckinridge, a pro-slavery candidate.
After the Civil War, Ward’s fortune declined, and he was forced to sell off much of his property. He died in 1853 and was buried in the family cemetery on his plantation. Ward’s legacy is controversial because of his involvement in the brutal system of slavery and his support for the Confederacy during the Civil War. While he was a wealthy and influential figure in his lifetime, his actions and beliefs are rightly condemned today as unjust and morally reprehensible.