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Foster, Charles, 1802-1889


Biographical Note

Charles Foster was born on January 30, 1802 in London, England. He married Ann Augustus Smith on September 6, 1823. With their son, Charles, Jr., they emigrated to the United States in the fall of 1835. After living in a number of places in the East and Midwest, the Fosters settled in Cincinnati, Ohio in the 1840s. Foster, Sr. became an agricultural journalist who illustrated agricultural publications of the Midwest and the South. Sometime after 1845 the Fosters moved to Marion County, Tennessee, where Charles, Sr. became a land speculator, farmer and amateur artist. Ann "Augusta" Foster died in July 1850. Three years later Charles, Sr. married Martha Shrum of Marion County. He died on February 25, 1889 and was buried on a family cemetery near Foster Falls, Marion County.

From the time Foster came to the United States, he wrote on important events and sketched impressions of life in the United States. In 1835, for example, he published an account of the New York City fire of that year. Foster illustrated scenes of the various places in which he lived and travelled throughout the 1830s and 1840s. Included among his illustrations are the Erie Canal, the Hudson River, the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and Chillicothe and Cincinnati, Ohio. In the later years of his life, Foster concentrated on illustrations of Marion County, Tennessee.

The diary Foster kept dates form his voyage across the Atlantic from London to New York City in 1835. He continued to write in the diary into 1853. Foster illustrated the diary, including scenes and people from places he lived in and visited. Forty color and pen and ink plates accompanied the original diary.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Charles Foster Diary Photographs

 Collection — other: 1 folder in Box 2
Identifier: AppMs-189
Scope and Contents The Charles Foster Diary Photographs consists of twenty 4 3/4" x 3 1/2" black and white copy prints of illustrations drawn by Foster in the diary he kept from 1835 to 1853. Many of these illustrations are not identified, but among those identified are drawings associated with the 1840 presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison; the "Ohio Belle" steamboat; and a view of New York Bay from Yonkers, New York.
Dates: 1973 - 1978