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Henry A. Foster Papers

Identifier: MS 5


The papers consist largely of personal and business correspondence to and from Henry A. Foster, roughly covering the period between 1836 and 1870. Some correspondence pertains to the Fosters and their relatives still living in Mississippi. Other letters, as well as notes, receipts, invoices, lists of purchases, and sales accounts, relate to Foster’s business endeavors with trading firms operating in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, especially during the 1850s and 1860s. The documents have been transcribed and arranged chronologically. A previous inventory, also arranged by date and stored at the beginning of the collection, offers summaries of varying length, complemented with notes and comments. In this finding aid, documents covering a date range – such as lists of purchases and sales accounts – have been arranged according to the ending date, whereas in the old inventory they might appear according to the initial date.


  • Other: Date Not Yet Determined


Terms Governing Use

Collection is open for research. Copyright has not been transferred to Texas Christian University.

Biographical Sketch

Henry Ancell Foster was born on July 18, 1814, in Tennessee (probably Franklin County). Very little is known about Foster’s parents and early life. By late 1835, he had moved to Vernon, Madison County, Mississippi. On February 11, 1836, he married Martha Ann Davis, born December 8, 1815, in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. The Davises lived in the Madison County area and, along with Foster, were involved in business enterprises such as land speculation, farming on a large scale, and commerce. During the 1830s and 1840s, Foster established a reputation as a plantation owner. The Fosters moved to Milam County, Texas, in 1852, just when local farmers had begun to grow more cotton and the number of slaves had begun to rise dramatically. Foster became involved with this cotton economy, trading bales for merchandise obtained from companies established along Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Martha Davis died before 1870. Henry A. Foster died November 19, 1891.


1.75 Linear feet

Language of Materials



Arranged in one series and one addition: I. Henry A. Foster Papers, 1836-1897. Accession 2010-A-002, 1836-1904.


Gift of Mickey Schmid, 1995.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Mary Couts Burnett Library Repository

TCU Box 298400
2800 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76129-0001
Fort Worth Texas 76129
(817) 257-4566
(817) 257-7282 (Fax)