Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / Charles Henry Foster Journals, 1843-1852.

Charles Henry Foster Journals, 1843-1852.

0.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number:


Agency History / Biographical Note:
Charles Henry Foster (1830-1882) was born in Orono, Maine, on February 18, 1830. He studied law before college and graduated from Bowdoin in 1855 with first honors. After graduation, Foster was admitted to the bar and practiced in Bangor, Maine. From 1855-1856 he taught school in Augusta, and in 1857 he went to Norfolk, Virginia, and worked as editor-in-chief of the Southern Statesman, and as an associate editor of the Day Book. He moved to Murfreesboro, North Carolina, in 1859 and assumed the position of editor for The Citizen.

In 1860, Foster married Sue Agnes Carter of Murfreesboro. Her family's affluence and prestige awarded him the good graces of the Southern white community, but these graces disintegrated when he vocally supported the Union prior to Southern secession. Despite his wife's public denouncement of him in Petersburg's Daily Express, Foster enlisted as a Union captain for North Carolina's 2nd Regiment of the United States Volunteers in 1861, and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After the war, Foster experimented unsuccessfully with politics and business, and in 1878 he and his family relocated to Philadelphia. There he was instantly admitted to the bar, but he instead pursued his love of journalism, soon becoming the leading editorialist for the Philadelphia Record. He died on March 14, 1882, of pneumonia and was survived by his wife, three daughters, and a young son.

Scope and Content:
Contains a "Manuscript of Original Compositions," composed in December 1843 while in high school, which consists of four works: "Autobiography of a Broomstick," "Sam Patch's Last Leap," "Scene in a Washingtonian Hall," and "A Sketch of Moorish Spain." Also includes ten journals, each spanning about one month's time, written during the years 1847 through 1849. There is also a journal kept by Benjamin Foster, Charles' brother, from 1851-1852 while both brothers were freshmen at Bowdoin.

Cite as: Charles Henry Foster Journals, Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.

Access Restrictions: None.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · scaref@bowdoin.edu · (207) 725-3288