Joshua John Ward

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Joshua John Ward
Born (1800-11-24)November 24, 1800
Brookgreen Plantation, Georgetown County
, South Carolina
Died February 27, 1853(1853-02-27) (aged 52)
Brookgreen Plantation Georgetown County, S.C.
Nationality American
Occupation Rice farmer, plantation owner, slaveholder
Known for America's largest slaveholder.

Joshua John Ward, of Georgetown County, South Carolina, was the largest American slaveholder,[1] dubbed "the king of the rice planters".[2]

In 1850 he held 1,092 slaves;[2] Ward was the largest slaveholder in the United States during his lifetime. In 1860 his heirs (his estate) held 1,130 or 1,131 slaves.[1][2]

One of his plantations, the Brookgreen Plantation, is now part of a park called Brookgreen Gardens.


In addition to his rice plantations, Ward served as the 44th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina from 1850 to 1852, as a Democrat, under Governor John Hugh Means.

Family history[edit]

Ward was born November 24, 1800, at Brookgreen Plantation, South Carolina, the son of Joshua Ward, a planter and banker, and Elizabeth Cook. He was married March 14, 1825, in South Carolina to Joanna Douglas Hasell, and died February 27, 1853, at Brookgreen Plantation. His father was Joshua Ward and his mother was Elizabeth (Cook).[3]


  1. ^ a b The Sixteen Largest American Slaveholders from 1860 Slave Census Schedules, Transcribed by Tom Blake, April to July 2001, (updated October, 2001 and December 2004 – now includes 19 holders)
  2. ^ a b c "Boundaries and Opportunities: Comparing Slave Family Formation in the Antebellum South", Damian Alan Pargas, Journal of Family History, 2008; 33; 316, doi:10.1177/0363199008318919
  3. ^ Joshua John Ward / Joanna Douglas Hasell
Political offices
Preceded by
William H. Gist
Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
James Irby