Thursday, May 26, 2005

Want Christopher Ward Info

Wilmington lawyer Christopher L. Ward (1868-1943) wrote books in many areas. He was a respected amateur historian and wrote a number of historic texts. He wrote novels in a variety of settings and moods. And he wrote pure literature including satire and humor. He also hobnobbed with several American literary greats.

I had long wanted to publish an article in Collecting Delaware Books about Ward. I hesitated because the late Jerry Shields was researching him. Alas, Jerry's sudden death in 1998 put an end to that and many other projects.

Recently I decided to revive the article on Ward and add it to the CDB Web site. The record of his writings is clear and includes several surprises. But biographical information beyond his role as a founder of Corporate Services Company is hard to find. Then, by accident, I stumbled on a note that a local book dealer had sold Jerry Shield's notes on Christopher L. Ward a few years ago. If anyone knows who bought these notes, I would appreciate hearing from them.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Bounds of Delaware and Liquified Natural Gas

Recent news stories about attempts to build a terminal for unloading liquefied natural gas from vessels on the New Jersey shore of the Delaware River bring to mind the 250 year debate over the borders of Delaware. The New Jersey facility would project out into the river, but Delaware claims ownership of the river in that area all the way to the water line on the New Jersey side. Delaware says its Coastal Zone Act forbids such a terminal.

Lawyer, ecologist, and author Dudley Lunt researched these boundaries in archives in England and the United States. The story starts with William Penn in 1682. Lunt published his slim The Bounds of Delaware in 1947. It details the claims and counterclaims, surveying errors, map errors, and legal actions during the centuries. He tells of the Mason-Dixon line, the famous 12-mile circle around the New Castle courthouse, the "wedge," and the continuation of the circle to the New Jersey shore. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Delaware's claim to the river in 1935.

One can not help but feel the big money petroleum interests will eventually win this fight, but Lunt's book has interesting background information. It has always been a popular collectible.

Other books by Dudley Lunt

Thousand Acre Marsh

The Farmers Bank

Taylor's Gut in the Delaware State

Tales of the Delaware Bench and Bar

The Woods and the Sea

He also wrote notes for selections from Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Call From Dr. John A Munroe

I got a phone call from Dr. John A. Munroe two days ago, passing on a new mailing address. He also told me that at age 91 he is still working. Last year he published two books.

The first was a reprint of his Colonial Delaware; A History. Published by the Delaware Heritage Press, it has material not included in the 1978 original. The title was first issued as part of the History of the American Colonies Series which did not permit footnotes. The new volume has complete citations of the quoted material. I believe it is available in soft cover or hardback.

The second is The Philadelawareans, and other essays relating to Delaware published by the University of Delaware Press. It is a collection of articles published in many places from 1945 on about the relation of Delaware to Philadelphia in the late 18th century. Some of the originals are difficult for the researcher to find today. Some of the articles are totally new.

The subjects include: The eve of the Revolution — The New Castle tercentenary — Nonresident representation in the Continental Congress : the Delaware Delegation of 1782 — The ins and outs of politics : early nineteenth-century Delaware — The Delaware physician of 1800 — The Negro in Delaware — Eight newspaper columns — Delaware as an antique — Separation Day — The Old Collector (Allen McLane) — Reflections on Delaware and the American Revolution — Church versus state : the early struggle for control of Delaware College — The first map of Delaware after statehood — Delaware and the Constitution : an overview of events leading to ratification — A Parson in politics : the expulsion of John C. Brush from the Delaware General Assembly in 1801 — Three nineteenth-century immigrants — The trip to Philadelphia.