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Guide to the Charles Henry Foster Journals, 1843-1852

Request for Use
Charles Henry Foster journals
Foster, Charles Henry
Date [inclusive]:
0.25 Linear Feet
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Contains a "Manuscript of Original Compositions."
Preferred Citation:

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

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.

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.

"Manuscript of Original Compositions," December 1843

box 1 folder 1

Journal, October 26, 1847 - November 24, 1847

box 1 folder 2

Journal, February 10, 1848 - February 28, 1848

box 1 folder 3

Journal, December 5, 1848 - December 26, 1848

box 1 folder 4

Journal, December 27, 1848 - January 24, 1849

box 1 folder 5

Journal, January 25, 1849 - March 4, 1849

box 1 folder 6

Journal, April 2, 1849 - May 8, 1849

box 1 folder 7

Journal, May 9, 1849 - June 30, 1849

box 1 folder 8

Journal, July 1, 1849 - July 24, 1849

box 1 folder 9

Journal, July 25, 1849 - September 1, 1849

box 1 folder 10

Journal, October 15, 1849 - December 23, 1849

box 1 folder 11

Journal, September 24, 1851 - May 30, 1852 kept by Benjamin Foster, Charles Foster's brother, during the brothers' freshman year at Bowdoin

box 1 folder 12