How to Research your
Foster Family

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary
of Notable Americans
(with the surname of Foster)

 

Foster, Abby Kelley

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.158

FOSTER, Abby Kelley, reformer, was born in Pelham, Mass., Jan. 15, 1811. She was of Irish-Quaker parentage and was educated at the Friends school, Providence, R.I. She taught in Worcester, Millbury and Lynn, Mass. In 1837 she gave up her school and became a public lecturer in the anti-slavery movement. She is accredited with being the first woman in America to address mixed audiences on a political subject, and she was received with great disfavor. She helped to organize the Webster anti-slavery society, and in 1840 was admitted as a member of the American anti-slavery society, which act caused a division in the society. She made lecturing tours through the middle states, and while in Pennsylvania met Stephen Symonds Foster, the well-known abolition agitator, and was married to him at New Brighton, Pa., Dec. 21, 1845. They continued their work together, and in 1850 they took up the advocacy of woman suffrage and prohibition, spending their leisure time between lecture engagements on her farm near Worcester, Mass. Mrs. Foster objected to the principle of taxation without representation, and suffered her cows to be sold, and finally her farm, rather than pay taxes when not allowed to vote. She died in Worcester, Mass., Jan. 14, 1887.

Foster, Abiel

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.158

FOSTER, Abiel, representative, was born in Andover, Mass., Aug. 8, 1735. He was graduated from Harvard in 1756; afterward studied theology, and was ordained pastor of the Congregational church at Canterbury, N.H. He served in the New Hampshire legislature and was a delegate to the Continental congress, 1783-85. In 1784 he was a member of the New Hampshire constitutional convention, and the same year he was made judge of the Rockingham County, N.H., court of common pleas, and was afterward appointed chief justice. He represented his district in the first U.S. congress, 1789-91, was a member and president of the state senate 1793-94, and was a representative in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th congresses, 1795-1803. He died in Canterbury, N.H., Feb. 6, 1806.

Foster, Addison Gardner

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.158

FOSTER, Addison Gardner, senator, was born in Belchertown, Mass., Jan. 28, 1837; son of Samuel and Mary Worthington (Walker) Foster; grandson of Samuel and Rebecca (Hunt) Foster; and a descendant of Reginald Foster, who landed at Ipswich, Mass., in 1638. In 1850 he removed to Oswego, Ill., with his parents, and later to Minnesota. He taught school, and engaged in grain and real estate business, 1859-75, was county auditor and surveyor at Wabasha, Minn., and invested in timberlands, removing to St. Paul, where he resided 1875-87. While in St. Paul he was interested in the Lehigh Coal and Iron Company and the firm of Griggs & Foster. In 1888 he went to Tacoma as vice-president of the St. Paul & Tacoma lumber company, making his home in Tacoma and engaging extensively in lumber business and development of coalmines and in building railroads. In 1899 he was elected U.S. senator, as successor to John L. Wilson, for the term expiring March 3, 1905. 

Foster, Charles

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.158

FOSTER, Charles, cabinet officer, was born in Seneca County, near Tiffin, Ohio, April 12, 1828; son of Charles W. and Laura (Crocker) Foster and grandson of William Foster and of John Crocker. His first American ancestor came from England in 1632, and settled at Oldham, Mass. His parents migrated from New York in 1827 and settled at Rome, in the "Black Swamp" region of Ohio, in 1832, building a double log house where Fostoria afterward grew into a city. His father was a storekeeper, and also dealt in land. Charles attended the Norwalk seminary until his fourteenth year, when he was obliged to take charge of his father's store, and thereafter until his advent into political life he was a successful merchant and banker. He was defeated as candidate for state senator in 1863 by the failure to count the soldiers' votes. He was a Republican representative in the 42d, 43d, 44th and 45th congresses, 1871-79, and failed of election to the 46th congress in 1878. In 1879 he was elected [p.159] governor of Ohio, defeating Gen. Thomas Ewing, the Democratic and Greenback candidate, and was re-elected in 1881. His administration of state affairs was the subject of considerable criticism, especially his action in regard to the liquor traffic then agitating the state, and he lost considerable political support, but the measures he proposed became the fixed policy of the state. In 1889 President Harrison made him chairman of a commission to negotiate a treaty with the Sioux Indians in which he was successful. In January 1890, he was defeated before the state legislature for U.S. senator, and in the same year was defeated by the Democrats in the election for representative to the 52d congress. On Feb. 21, 1891, president Harrison selected him as secretary of the U. S. treasury to succeed Secretary Windom, deceased. His adjustment of the 4 1/2 per cent loan by obtaining a continuance of $25,000,000, one-half of the outstanding bonds, at 2 per cent, was applauded, but his method of reporting the balance in the treasury provoked the criticism of financiers and of the next administration, although the method remained unchanged. At the close of President Harrison's administration he returned to Fostoria, Where he resumed his mercantile and banking business. He had previously become largely interested in outside corporations, for which he had endorsed, and this brought upon him financial distress and he made a general assignment on May 26, 1893. He was the leading spirit in adopting the detached building or cottage plan for the construction of hospitals for the insane, and in the adoption of what is known as non-restraint treatment. For fifteen years he was president of the board of trustees of the State hospital for the insane at Toledo, during which time a hospital was constructed on the cottage plan and the non-restraint treatment practiced. This hospital came to be regarded as the finest and best-conducted institution of its kind in the world.

Foster, Dwight

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.159

FOSTER, Dwight, senator, was born in Brookfield, Mass., Dec. 7, 1757; son of Jedediah and Dorothy (Dwight) Foster. His father (born Oct. 10, 1726, died Oct. 17, 1779) was graduated at Harvard in 1744; was a delegate to the provincial congress in 1774, a member of the executive council in 1775, a judge of the superior court in 1776, and a member of the state constitutional convention in 1799. The son was graduated from Brown in 1774; was admitted to the bar in 1778 and practiced in Providence, R.I. He returned to his native place in 1779 and was chosen to succeed his father as a member of the convention that framed the constitution of Massachusetts. He was justice of the peace for Worcester County in 1781, and special justice of the court of common pleas in 1792. In the latter year he was appointed High Sheriff of Worcester County. He was repeatedly elected to the state legislature, and was a representative in the 3d, 4th and 5th congresses, 1793-99. In 1799 he was a delegate to the state constitutional convention, and in the same year was elected a U.S. senator to succeed Samuel Dexter, resigned, serving until 1803, when he resigned his seat. He was chief justice of the county court of common pleas, 1801-11, and in 1818 he was a member of Governor Brooks's council. He received the honorary degree of A.M. from Harvard in 1784. He died in Brookfield, Mass., April 29, 1823.

Foster, Ephraim H.

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.159

FOSTER, Ephraim H., senator, was born in Nelson county, Ky., Sept. 17, 1794; graduated at Cumberland college, 1813; private secretary to Gen. Andrew Jackson, 1813-15; admitted to the bar in 1817; representative in state legislature. 1829; candidate for U.S. senator, 1832; U.S. senator, as successor to Felix Grundy, 1838-39; reelected for a full term, 1839; resigned, Jan. 13, 1840; U. S. senator again, 1843-45 to fill the term of Felix Grundy, deceased, and Whig candidate for governor in 1845. He died in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 14, 1845.

Foster, Frank Hugh

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.159

FOSTER, Frank Hugh, educator, was born in Springfield, Mass., June 18, 1851; son of William and Mary Flagg (Miller) Foster; and grandson of Lewis Foster and of William Miller. He was graduated from Harvard in 1873 and from Andover theological seminary in 1877. He was assistant professor of mathematics at the U.S. naval academy, Annapolis, Md., 1873-74; held a pastorate at North Reading, Mass., 1877-79; was professor of philosophy and German at Middlebury college, 1882-84; professor of church history at Oberlin theological seminary, 1884-92, and in the latter year became professor of biblical and systematic theology in Pacific theological seminary, Oakland, Cal. He received the degree of Ph.D. from Leipzig in 1882, and that of D.D. from the Chicago theological seminary in 1894. He assisted in the editing of The Bibliotheca Sacra; wrote editorially and largely in the Concise Dictionary of Religious Knowledge (1891); and published The Seminary Method (1889); a translation of Grotius on the Satisfaction of Christ (1889); and The Fundamental Ideas of the Roman Catholic Church (1898); besides a large number of transient theological articles.

Foster, George Burman

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.159

FOSTER, George Burman, educator, was born in Alderson, Va., April 2, 1858; son of Oliver H. and Elouise (Bobbitt) Foster; and grandson of John Foster. He was graduated from Shelton College, West Virginia, in 1879; from the West Virginia University in 1883; from the Rochester theological seminary in 1887, and was a student in the universities of Göttingen and Berlin, 1891-92. He was pastor of the first [p.160] Baptist church at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., 1887; professor of philosophy at McMasters University, Toronto, Canada, 1892-95; associate professor of systematic theology in the University of Chicago, 1895-97, and in 1897 was made full professor. He received the degree of Ph.D. from Dennison University, Ohio, in 1892.

Foster, Henry Allen

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.160

FOSTER, Henry Allen, senator, was born in Hartford, Conn., May 7, 1800. When a boy he removed to Cazenovia, N.Y., and in 1822 was admitted to the New York bar. He was in the state senate, 1831-34 and 1841-44, and represented his district in the 25th congress, 1837-39. He was U.S. senator, 1844-45, appointed as successor to Silas Wright, resigned, and was succeeded by John A. Dix. He was a delegate to the Democratic convention of 1848 that nominated Lewis Cuss for president; and judge of the New York Supreme Court, fifth district, 1863-69. He was a member of the board of trustees of Hamilton College, 1836-89, vice-president of the American colonization society, and a member of the "Albany Regency." The honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by Hamilton College in 1860. He died in Rome, N.Y., May 12, 1889.

Foster, Herbert Darling

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.160

FOSTER, Herbert Darling, educator, was born in West Newbury, Mass., June 22, 1863; son of the Rev. Davis and Harriet Louisa (Darling) Foster; and grandson of Richard and Irene (Burroughs) Foster and of Henry and Eliza (Cobb) Darling. He was graduated at Phillips Exeter academy in 1881 and at Dartmouth College, A. B., 1885, and A.M., 1888. He held a Morgan fellowship in history in Harvard graduate school, 1891-93; received the degree of A.M. from Harvard in 1892, and studied and traveled in Europe, 1893-94. He taught history at Worcester academy, Mass., 1885-91, organizing that department in 1888 with the position of instructor in history and German, 1888-91. He was elected the first professor of history at Dartmouth College in 1893, with one year's leave of absence, and organized the new department in 1894. He was married, July 7, 1897, to Lillian Darlington Smith of Liverpool, England.

Foster, Isaac

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.160

FOSTER, Isaac, surgeon, was born in Charlestown, Mass., about 1740. He was graduated at Harvard in 1758, studied medicine in England, and was surgeon in the Continental army, serving at Concord, Bunker Hill, and in charge of the hospital at Cambridge. He was, by appointment of General Washington, director-general of the American hospital department until congress supplied the position by appointing Dr. Morgan. In 1777 Washington appointed him to take charge of the medical department of the east and he retired in 1780 by reason of ill health, but retained his commission till the close of the war. He died in Charlestown, Mass., in February 1781.

Foster, James P.

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.160

FOSTER, James P., naval officer, was born in Bullit County, Ky., June 8, 1827. His parents removed with him to Bloomington, Ind., where he received his primary education. He was accepted as a midshipman in the navy in 1847, and was graduated at the U.S. naval academy in 1854. He was promoted lieutenant in 1861, and lieutenant commander in July 1862, and in October 1862, was assigned to the command of the Neosho of Admiral Porter's fleet, operating on the Mississippi river. He was in command of the iron-clads Conestoga and Chillicothe, and was ordered with these two vessels to Cairo for repairs in June 1863. He was in charge of the training ships at Annapolis, Md., after 1865, was promoted commander, and was with the Osceola in the Brazilian squadron. There he contracted disease, was ordered home, and died at Indianapolis, Ind., June 2, 1869.

Foster, John

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.160

FOSTER, John, clergyman, was born in Western (now Warren), Mass., April 19, 1763; son of Nathan and Betty (Lansford) Foster; and grandson of Nathan and Hannah (Standish) Foster. He was graduated at Dartmouth, A.B., 1783, A.M., 1786. He was ordained the first pastor of the First Congregational society of Brighton, Nov. 1, 1784, his brother, the Rev. Joel Foster of New Salem, preaching the sermon. He resigned his pastorate, Oct. 31, 1827, and was succeeded by Daniel Austin. He was married in April, 1785, to Hannah, daughter of Grant Webster, and the author of "the Coquette; or History of Eliza Wharton," one of the earliest American novels. She died at Montreal, Canada, April 17, 1840, at the age of eighty-one years. Dr. Foster was one of the boards of overseers of Harvard University and was connected with various literary, benevolent and religious societies. He received from Harvard the degree of A.M. in 1787 and that of D.D. in 1815. Twenty-two of his discourses were published. He delivered the annual discourse before the Roxbury charitable society, Sept. 16, 1799. A memorial window to the Rev. John Foster was placed in the new church in Brighton at its dedication in 1894. He died in Brighton, Mass., Sept. 16, 1829.

Foster, John Barton

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.160

FOSTER, John Barton, educator, was born in Boston, Mass., Jan. 8, 1822; son of John May and Elizabeth (Lowell) Merrill Foster. In 1829 he removed with his parents to Waterville, Maine, where he was graduated from Waterville College in 1843. He was principal of the China, Maine, academy, 1844-45, and of the Lexington, Mass., academy, 1845-46. In 1850 he was graduated from the Newton theological institution, Mass., and was editor of the Zion's Advocate, 1850-58. He was professor of Greek and Latin languages and literature at Waterville College, later Colby University, 1858-72, and of Greek language and [p.161] literature, 1872-94. On him the college first conferred the honorary title of professor emeritus. He was trustee of Waterville College, 1856-59. He was married to Ann, daughter of Nicholas and Nancy (Estey) Doe of Parsonsfield, Maine; and their son, John M. Foster, became a missionary to China. On Aug. 14, 1866, Professor Foster was married to Elisabeth Boutelle Philbrick. In 1864 he received the degree of A.M. and in 1876 that of LL.D. from Colby university. He died at Waterville, Maine, Aug. 19, 1897 

Foster, John Gray

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.161

FOSTER, John Gray, soldier, was born in Whitefield, N.H., May 27, 1823; son of Perley and Mary (Gray) Foster; grandson of Diamond Foster and of Moses and Mary Gray; and of Scotch and English ancestry. He was graduated at the U.S. military academy in 1846 and assigned to active duty under General Scott as lieutenant of suppers and miners. He saw service in all the battles leading up to the capture of the city of Mexico, until he was severely wounded at Molino del Rey and in the campaign received brevets of 1st lieutenant and captain. He was stationed in Maryland and the District of Columbia, 1848-54, was promoted 1st lieutenant in 1855, and was assigned to the Military academy as assistant professor of engineering. He was engineer in the construction of Forts Sumter and Moultrie and of works for coast defense in North Carolina, 1857-60; was in Fort Moultrie when the state of South Carolina demanded the surrender of the Federal forts in 1860 and directed the removal of the garrison to Fort Sumter, Dec. 26-27, 1860; supervised the strengthening of that fort and was with Major Anderson in its defense, receiving the brevet of major for his services. He was commissioned a brigadier-general in the volunteer army. Oct. 23, 1861, joined Burnside's expedition to North Carolina as brigade commander, and was brevetted lieutenant colonel for action at Roanoke Island. He was then placed in command of the department of North Carolina with the rank of major general of volunteers, and gained possession of important points on the coast, 1862-63, being from July to November of the latter year commander of the department of Virginia and North Carolina. He was transferred to the command of the army of the Ohio, and directed the department until injured by a fall from his horse, December 1864. On his recovery he was placed in command of the department of the South; received General Sherman and his army at Savannah on the completion of the march through Georgia, Dec. 21, 1864, and commenced the operations for the reduction of Fort Sumter and the capture of Charleston, S.C., when the condition of his old wound necessitated his retirement and Gen. Q. A. Gillmore carried out his plans. He was brevetted brigadier- and major general in the regular army for services at Savannah and in the field during the civil war; commanded the department of Florida, 1865-66, and was superintending engineer in river and harbor improvements at Boston and Portsmouth. He published: Notes on Submarine Blasting in Boston Harbor (1869). He died at Nashua, N.H., Sept. 2, 1874.

Foster, John Watson

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.161

FOSTER, John Watson, diplomatist, was born in Pike county, Ind., March 2, 1836; son of Matthew Watson and Eleanor (Johnson) Foster. His father was a native of England and his mother the descendant of a Virginia family. He was graduated at Indiana University in 1855, studied law one year at Harvard and practised law in Evansville, Ind., 1857-61. He entered the Union army in 1861 as major of the 25th Indiana volunteers, was promoted lieutenant colonel for action at Fort Donelson, where he commanded his regiment, and colonel for conduct at Shiloh. He was in command of the 65th and 136th Indiana volunteers, respectively, led a brigade of cavalry in the operations of General Burnside in the army of the Ohio in Kentucky and Tennessee in 1863, and was the first to enter Knoxville, September 4, when that city was occupied by the Federal troops He was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers in 1865 and at the close of the war returned to Evansville where he conducted the Daily Journal, 1865-69, and was postmaster of the city, 1869-73. He served as chairman of the Republican state central committee in 1872, and was appointed by President Grant U.S. minister to Mexico, where he served, 1873-80. President Hayes transferred him to the Russian mission in 1880 and he was reaccredited to that mission in 1881 by President Garfield. He resigned in November 1881, and established himself in Washington, D.C., as counsel for foreign legations. He was U.S. minister to [p.162] Spain, 1883-85, under appointment by President Arthur. He resigned in March 1885, after negotiating a commercial treaty, the terms of which the U.S. senate failed to confirm and which President Cleveland then withdrew for reconsideration. President Cleveland then appointed him to a special mission to Spain to continue the negotiations for a modified treaty, which mission was unsuccessful and he returned to his law practice in Washington. In November 1890, he was appointed by President Harrison special commissioner of the state department to negotiate reciprocity treaties with Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Santo Domingo, and the South American republics, in all of which he was successful, with the exception of Colombia and Venezuela. He also aided in the Chilean affair and in the Bering Sea controversy, being the attorney for the United States to prepare and conduct the case before the arbitration tribunal. On the resignation of Secretary Blaine, June 4, 1892, President Harrison appointed Mr. Foster secretary of state, June 29, 1892, and he held this portfolio up to the close of the administration, when he sailed to Europe to represent the United States in the Bering sea arbitration. He was the advisor of Li Hung Chang, viceroy of the Chinese empire, in the peace negotiations with Japan, December, 1894-July, 1895, which led to the treaty of Shimonoseki, and for which service he is accredited with having received as a counsel fee, $100,000. He entertained the viceroy on his visit to the United States in 1896, and in 1897 was appointed by President McKinley to negotiate a tripartite agreement or treaty between the United States, Russia and Japan for the protection of the seals, which action was rendered necessary by the failure of Great Britain to co-operate in preventing poaching in Bering sea, in the discharge of which duty he visited England and then proceeded to Russia. In 1898 he was appointed a member of the joint high commission for the adjustment of differences with Canada. He was elected permanent vice-president of the American Bible society in 1880, and was elected to honorary membership in the geographical, historical and scientific societies of Mexico and Russia. He was married in 1859 to Mary Parke, daughter of Eliza J. McPherson of Glendale, Ohio. He published in the Century (August, 1896) a sketch of the life and character of Li Hung Chang whom he ranked among the greatest men of his age. He is the author of: A Century of American Diplomacy (1900); and Our Diplomacy in the Orient (1903).

Foster, John Wells

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.162

FOSTER, John Wells, geologist, was born in Brimfield, Mass., March 4, 1815. He completed a scientific course at Wesleyan university in 1834 and was admitted to the bar in 1835, practising at Gainesville, Ohio, 1835-37. He assisted William Williams Mather in the geological survey of Ohio, 1837-44; investigated the copper mines of the Lake Superior region in behalf of various mining companies in 1845-46, and with Josiah Dwight Whitney assisted Charles J. Jackson in a government survey of the region, 1847-49. He was a resident of Massachusetts, 1844-58, and in 1854 was the unsuccessful candidate of the Republican party for representative from the 10th Massachusetts district to the 34th congress. He removed to Chicago, Ill., in 1858 and was land commissioner for the Illinois central railway. He made extensive archćological surveys in the Mississippi valley, studying mounds and other evidences of prehistoric races. He was a member of the American association for the advancement of science, 1840-73; its president, 1869; president of the Chicago academy of sciences and a member of other learned societies. He received the honorary degree of LL.D. His published works include: Report Upon the Mineral Resources of the Illinois Central Railway (1856); The Mississippi Valley: its Physical Geography, including Sketches of the Topography, Botany, Climate, Geology and Mineral Resources (1869); and Prehistoric Races of the United States of America (1873). He died in Chicago, Ill., June 29, 1873.

Foster, Joshua Hill

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.162

FOSTER, Joshua Hill, educator, was born in Tuscaloosa county, Ala., March 17, 1819; son of James and Mary Ellen (Hill) Foster; grandson of John and Elizabeth (Savidge) Foster, and of Joshua and Nancy (Collier) Hill; and great-grandson of Arthur Foster and of Lovelace Savidge. The father of Arthur Foster came from (probably Yorkshire) England and settled in Southampton County, Va., about 1730. Joshua was graduated with honors at the University of Alabama, A.B., 1839, A.M., 1842. He was tutor in the university, 1841-44; teacher in the male high school, Tuscaloosa, 1844; spent 1845-49 on a farm; was tutor of mathematics, University of Alabama, 1849-50; pastor of the Baptist church, Tuscaloosa, 1853-54; joint principal of Alabama central female college, 1869-71; president of the college, 1871-73; professor of moral philosophy, University of Alabama, 1873-74; and of natural philosophy, 1874-76; and of philosophy and astronomy from 1876 to June, 1892. He received the degree of D.D. from Howard College in 1879.

Foster, Judith Ellen (Horton) 

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.162

FOSTER, Judith Ellen (Horton), lecturer and lawyer, was born in Lowell, Mass., Nov. 3, 1840; daughter of Jotham and Judith (Delano) Horton; granddaughter of Roby Warren and of Abigail Pearce; and a descendant from Cape Cod people of Plymouth stock on her mother's side and from Boston Puritans on her father's side. Her father was a Methodist preacher and [p.163] an anti-slavery reformer. She attended New England schools and Genesee Wesleyan seminary, Lima, N.Y., 1855-56. She became a public lecturer on current events and political questions and advocated various reforms, meanwhile studying law. She was admitted to practice in Iowa in 1873, and subsequently in the supreme court of the state and in the supreme court of the United States. She was president of the Woman's Republican association and regent of the Constitution chapter, D.A.R., and was active in Red Cross work. She was married to Elijah Caleb Foster, also a lawyer, and of their two sons, William Horton Foster became a lawyer and Emory Miller Foster a journalist. Mrs. Foster is the author of The Crime Against Ireland (1883)

Foster, Lafayette Sabine

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.163

FOSTER, Lafayette Sabine, senator, was born in Franklin, Conn., Nov. 22, 1806; son of Capt. Daniel and Welthea (Ladd) Foster; and a direct descendant of Miles Standish through his grandmother, Hannah Standish; and of Dr. John Sabin. His father was an officer in the Continental army and fought at Saratoga, Stillwater and White Plains. Lafayette was graduated at Brown University in 1828, honor man of his class, after having paid his own way by teaching. He continued to teach, meanwhile studying law, and while in charge of an academy at Centerville, Md., 1829-30, was admitted to the bar. He returned to Connecticut, continued his study of law under Calvin Goddard at Norwich, and was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1831. He practiced in Hampton, Conn., 1831-34, and then settled in Norwich, where, in 1835, he edited the Republican, a Whig paper. He was a representative in the state legislature, 1839-40, 1846-48, and 1854, and was speaker during the last three terms. He was twice defeated as a Whig candidate for governor of the state; was mayor of Norwich, 1851-52, and U.S. senator, 1855-61, and 1861-67. He was president of the senate pro tempore, from March 7, 1865, to March 2, 1867, and acting vice-president of the United States from April 15, 1865, to March 2, 1867. He was a conservative Republican, opposed the repeal of the fugitive slave act and the bill granting the franchise to colored men in the District of Columbia without an educational qualification. He also opposed the repeal of the Missouri compromise and the Lecompton constitution for Kansas. He withdrew from the canvass as a nominee for senator for a third term in 1866, returned to the practice of law, and in 1869 declined the chair of law in Yale college, but was lecturer on "Parliamentary law and legislation," 1875-80. He was state representative and speaker of the house in 1870, resigning in June of that year to take his seat as judge of the supreme court of the state. In 1872 he supported Horace Greeley for President and in 1874 was the defeated candidate for representative in congress. He was retired as Supreme Court judge, by age limit, in 1876, and resumed the practice of law. He was commissioner from Connecticut to settle state boundary with New York in 1878-79, and to purchase Fishers Island in 1878. He was vice-president of the American Bible society. He gave his library to the town of Norwich and his residence for the use of the Norwich free academy. He was married in 1858 to Kate Godfrey of Southport, Conn., and his widow and four children survived him. Brown conferred on him the degree of LL.D. in 1851. He died in Norwich, Conn., Sept. 19, 1880.

Foster, Murphy James

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.163

FOSTER, Murphy James, governor of Louisiana, was born at Franklin, on the Teche, in the parish of St. Mary, La., Jan. 12, 1849; son of Thomas J. and Martha (Murphy) Foster; and grandson of Levi Foster and Zeide (Demaret) Foster, and of John and Emma (Taylor) Murphy. From the high school at Franklin he went to Washington and Lee University, Virginia, and after two sessions there, to Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn., where he was graduated in 1870. Returning to Louisiana he was graduated from the law school of the Tulane University in 1871 and practiced his profession in his native village. He served continuously in the state senate, 1880-92. He declined the position of associate justice of the supreme bench offered to him by Governor Nicholls in 1890. During the contest with the Louisiana state lottery company, he was the acknowledged leader of the anti-lottery forces in the legislature. The anti-lottery party elected him governor in 1892, and the Democrats in 1896. He was elected U.S. senator in 1901.  [p.164]

Foster, Randolph Sinks

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.164

FOSTER, Randolph Sinks, M.E. bishop, was born in Williamsburg, Ohio, Feb. 22, 1820; son of Randolph Israel and Mary K. Foster. He attended Augusta College, Ky., 1835-37, and joined the itinerant ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church in the latter year. Later in the same year he was transferred from the Kentucky to the Ohio conference, and until 1850 held various pastorates in the latter state. In that year he was transferred to the New York conference and until 1857 preached in New York city and Brooklyn. He was president of Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., 1857-60, returning to the ministry in the latter year. He accepted the chair of systematic theology in Drew theological seminary, Madison, N.J., in 1868, and two years later became president of the institution, still continuing his professorship. He was elected a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church in 1872, and subsequently traveled through Western Europe, India and South America in the interest of his denomination. In 1873 he removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1876 to Boston, Mass. He was a member of the general conferences of 1864, 1868 and 1872; fraternal delegate to the British Wesleyan conference of 1868; a member of the Methodist centennial conference of 1884, and of the Methodist Ecumenical conference of 1891. He was married in 1840 to Sarah, daughter of John and Anne Miley of Butler County, Ohio. Ohio Wesleyan University conferred upon him the degree of D.D. in 1853 and that of LL.D. in 1858. He published: Objections to Calvinism as it is (1848); Christian Purity (1851, rev. ed., 1869); Ministry for the Times (1852); Theism in the Ingham Lectures (1872); Beyond the Grave (1879); Centenary Thoughts for the Pulpit and Pew of Methodism (1884); Studies in Theology; Prolegomena, The Supernatural Book, and Theism (3 vols., 1889); Philosophy of Christian Experience ( 1890 ); The Union of Episcopal Methodisms (1892); Studies in Theology (Vol. IV., 1895); God: Nature and Attributes (1898). He died in Newton Centre, Mass., May 1, 1903. 

Foster, Robert Verrell

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.164

FOSTER, Robert Verrell, educator, was born in Wilson county, Tenn., Aug. 12, 1845; son of Rufus Harrison and Sarah (Spain) Foster, and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He was graduated from Cumberland university, Lebanon, Tenn., in 1870, studied in the theological department, 1875-76, and was graduated from the Union theological seminary, New York, in 1877. In April 1879, he was ordained by the Lebanon presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He occupied the chair of Hebrew and biblical theology in the Cumberland University theological school, 1877, and accepted that of systematic theology in 1893, at the same time doing editorial work in the Cumberland Presbyterian publishing house at Nashville and holding a professorship in the Lebanon college for young ladies. He received the degree of D.D. from Trinity University, Texas, in 1884. He published: Introduction to the Study of Theology (1889); Old Testament Studies, an Outline of Old Testament Theology (1890); A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (1891); and an extensive treatise on Systematic Theology.

Foster, Stephen Collins - Stephen Collins Foster  Click here to hear his music

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.164

FOSTER, Stephen Collins, balladist, was born in Pittsburg, Pa., July 4, 1826. He attended the public schools at Towanda and Athens, Pa., and Jefferson academy. Canonsburg, Pa., but received the greater part of his instruction from private tutors, devoting much time to the French and German languages, watercolor painting, and music. In 1842, while he was a clerk in a store in Cincinnati, Ohio, his first ballad, "Open thy Lattice, Love," was published in Baltimore, Md. His next composition was "Uncle Ned," for which he received no remuneration. "O Susanna!" soon followed and for this he was paid $100 in cash. These songs became so popular that he gave up mercantile life to devote his time to ballad composition. He published "Old Folks at Home" about 1850, and received $500 from Christy's minstrels for the privilege of singing it in public, and copyright from the publishers amounting to $15,000. He composed both the words and music of about 125 ballads, several of which were translated and sung in foreign countries. The accompanying illustration shows the Old Rowan homestead near Bardstown, Ky., the original "Old Kentucky Home" in which he composed the song. His compositions include: Old Black Joe; Way Down South; Louisiana Belle; Nellie Was a Lady,' Nelly Bly; Old Dog Tray; Willie, we have Missed You; and Come where my Love lies Dreaming. He died in New York City, Jan. 13, 1864.

Foster, Stephen Symonds

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.164

FOSTER, Stephen Symonds, abolitionist, was born in Canterbury, N.H., Nov. 17, 1809. He attended the district school, learned the trade of [p.165] carpenter, was graduated at Dartmouth in 1838, and attended Union theological seminary, N.Y., 1838-39. He relinquished his preparations for the ministry, as the abolition of slavery was not allowed to be advocated front the chapel pulpit. He entered the lecture field, and his denunciation of slavery caused him to suffer mob violence. He not only denounced slaveholders, but churches and ministers who upheld slavery, and advocated war measures to determine the northwestern boundary question. In order to obtain audiences to listen to him he attended church meetings and there pleaded for the enslaved Negro. For his temerity he was frequently expelled from the buildings, and was more than once imprisoned for disturbing public worship. He afterward extended, the subjects of his lectures to temperance and woman suffrage. He was married Dec. 21, 1845, to Abby Kelley, a Quakeress, also an abolition lecturer, and they lived for many years on a farm near Worcester, Mass. He published The Brotherhood of Thieves, a True Picture of the American Church and Clergy (1843). He died at Worcester, Mass., Sept. 8, 1881.

Foster, Theodore

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.165

FOSTER, Theodore, senator, was born in Brookfield, Mass., April 29, 1752 (o.s.); son of Jedediah and Dorothy (Dwight) Foster, and brother of Dwight Foster, representative and senator from Massachusetts in the U.S. congress. He was graduated from Brown university in 1770, was admitted to the Rhode Island bar and practiced his profession in Providence, where he was town clerk. He represented the town of Providence in the general assembly, 1776-82, and the town of Foster, named from him, in that body, 1812-16. In May 1785, he was appointed judge of the court of admiralty. He was elected with Joseph Stanton, Jr., U.S. senator, and drew the short term, which expired with the first congress, March 3, 1791. He was twice re-elected, serving from Dec. 6, 1790, to March 3, 1803. He was married Oct. 27, 1771, to Lydia, daughter of Arthur Fenner of Providence, and on June 18, 1803, to Esther Bowen, daughter of the Rev. Noah and Hannah (Bowen) Millard of Foster, R.I. He was trustee of Brown University, 1794-1822, and Dartmouth conferred upon him the honorary degree of A.M. in 1786. He was an antiquarian student, and during his life collected material for a history of Rhode Island. He died in Providence, R.I., Jan. 13, 1828.

Foster, Theodosia Toll

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.165

FOSTER, Theodosia Toll, author, was born in Oneida Castle, N.Y., Feb. 15, 1838; daughter of Daniel D. and Ruth (Hills) Toll; granddaughter of Simon DeWitt and Susan (Condé) Toll, and a descendant of Karl Hansen Toll of Norwegian descent, who came to America from Holland early in the 17th century and settled near Schenectady, N.Y. Her grandmother, Susan Condé, was the granddaughter of Adam Condé, known as "The Chevalier," a French Huguenot who fled to Holland on account of religious persecution, and later to America. She was graduated from the Oneida seminary in 1860, and became principal of the Home school for girls, Verona, N.Y. She was married to James Foster, who died in 1872. Of her two sons, James Henry became a professor in Wabash College and Edward Snow settled in Verona, N.Y. Both were educated at Hamilton. The titles of her books, most of which were published under the pen name "Faye Huntington," include: In Earnest (1867); Kittie Farnham's Letters (1868); Through Patience (1869); Allan Phillips (1872); Those Boys (1874); Mr. McKenzie's Answer (1875); Louise's Mistake (1875); Fred Roberts' Start in Life (1875); Mrs. Deane's Way (1875); Dr. Deane's Way (1877); Ripley Parsonage (1877); Echoing and Re-echoing (1878); Susie's Opinions (1883); Millerton People (1884); Competitive Workmen (1884); Transformed (1885); What Fide Remembers (1887); St. Paul's Problem (1889); A Modern Exodus (1891); A Baker's Dozen (1892); The Boynton Neighborhood (1895); and His First Charge (1897), all of which had a wide circulation.

Foster, Thomas Flournoy

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.165

FOSTER, Thomas Flournoy, representative, was born in Greensborough, Ga., Nov. 23, 1796; son of Col. George Wells Foster. He was graduated from Franklin College (University of Georgia) in 1812, and studied law at Litchfield, Conn. He was admitted to the bar in 1816, settling in his native town. He was a representative in the state legislature several years, and represented his district in the 21st, 22d and 23d congresses, 1829-35. In 1835 he removed to Columbus, Ga., and represented that district in the 27th congress, 1841-43. He delivered a speech in behalf of state rights, which was published in Washington in 1832, and he was active in the debates upon the subject of the U.S. bank. He was a trustee of the University of Georgia, 1836-45. He died in Columbus, Ga., in 1847.

Foster, William Eaton

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol. 4, p.165

FOSTER, William Eaton, librarian, was born in Brattleboro, Vt., June 2, 1851. He was graduated at Brown University in 1873; was librarian of the public library, Hyde Park, Mass., 1873-76; cataloguer of the Turner free library, Randolph, Mass., 1876-77; and in the last named year became librarian of the public library, Providence, R.I. He was elected a member of the American antiquarian society, the American historical association, and the R.I. historical society. He contributed to various periodicals, and edited "Early Attempts at R.I. History," published in Collections of the R.I. historical society, volume 7 (1885). His other publications include: Literature of Civil-service Reform in the U.S. and The Civil-service Reform Movement (1881); Libraries and [p.166] Readers (1883); Stephen Hopkins, a R.I. Statesman (1884); References to Political and Economic Topics (1885); References to the History of Presidential Administrations, 1789-1885 (1885); Town Government in R.I. (1886); References to the Constitution of the U.S., with an Appendix (1890); Public Support of Public Libraries (1891); Some R.I. Contributions to the Intellectual Life of the Last Century (1892).

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