This memorial honors Massachusetts native Major General Artemas Ward, an experienced military leader who was second-in-command to General George Washington at the creation of the Continental Army. Although Ward had to resign his command in 1777 due to health problems, he continued to serve the newly-formed nation through politics. He was elected Governor of Massachusetts before the state ratified its constitution, and he held a seat in the state House of Representatives, serving as one of its delegates to the Continental Congress. In the years before his death in 1800, Ward also completed two terms as a US Congressman.
After donating the Ward House and $4 million to the general's Alma Mater, Harvard University, Ward's great-grandson George Artemas Ward stipulated that the university had to fund a statue to commemorate the General. The university commissioned the statue and later donated it to the United States Government.
This 10-foot bronze pedestrian statue of Artemas Ward rests on a plain granite base of the same height. Ward stands erect, striding slightly with his left leg, looking straight before him. A butt end of a cannon rests at the base by his feet. Sculptor Leonard Crunelle used Ward's actual cape and an oil portrait by Charles Willson Peale as a model for this statue, which was authorized by Congress and dedicated in 1938. Now owned by the National Park Service, the statue stands at the center of Ward Circle.
Part of American Revolution Statuary
DC Inventory: March 3, 1979
National Register: July 14, 1978