George W. Ward was a farmer from Kentucky who brought his family to the town of Douglas in western Douglas County in 1854. At 55 years of age, he was the oldest man in the Bogus Legislature. He was known to be "sound on the goose," having the correct attitude toward slavery. While in the legislature, along with his fellow townsman, O. H. Browne, Ward voted to make Douglas the capital of Kansas. [Root, Ferries, Kansas River, 293]
William H. Russell (1812-1872)
Russell, Majors & Waddell had an Army contract to haul all its freight in the west.
Unlike many of the legislators, Ward did not ride with the Kansas Militia nor did he join the Law and Order Party. But he did participate in another of the Bogus Legislators' favorite activities--land speculation. He was a member of an 1857 syndicate headed by William H. Russell, attempting to buy the lands of the "Christian" or Munsee tribe. In 1854, the Munsees purchased 2,500 acres of the Delaware Reserve along the Missouri River, just two miles south of the town of Leavenworth, where they had long been living under sufferance of the Delawares. The Munsees were first approached by a free-state land syndicate headed by Charles Robinson and Samuel Pomeroy, both agents of the New England Emigrant Aid Company. George Manypenny, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, whose office controlled the sale of Indian property, turned down the New Englanders offer.
The same day Manypenny sent his refusal to Robinson and Pomeroy, Russell's syndicate, with Ward as a member, submitted a bid of $20 per acre. Russell was the head of the firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell, which in 1856 secured from a friendly War Department the lucrative freighting contract for the transportation of all government supplies across the plains. He had strong financial as well as political support and a bid offered by a syndicate headed by Russell received serious consideration. Nevertheless, it also was refused.
There were several other offers, but in the end the property was sold with government approval to Andrew Jackson Issacs, who had even better political connections. Issacs, originally from Louisiana, had come to Kansas as Attorney General of the Territory under appointment by President Pierce. He had good friends in Congress, including Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, who helped him in confirming the very controversial purchase. [Gates, Fragment of Kansas Land History, 232]