Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Henry Foster Diary, 1757-1812

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, July 2012

Summary Information
Title: Henry Foster diary
Creator: Foster, Henry, 1737-1782 and Hubbard, Abner, 1750-1834
Inclusive dates: 1757-1812
Bulk dates: 1758, 1808-1812
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
Henry Foster, a native of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, kept a diary (74 pages) while serving in a provincial regiment during the French and Indian War. Foster regularly composed diary entries between May 27 and October 29, 1758, while stationed in eastern New York. The volume also includes 10 pages of accounts kept by Abner Hubbard of Norwich, Vermont, whose daughter married Henry Foster's son.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated in the name of Marjorie Campbell Foster and Professor Henry H. Foster, Jr., 2003. M-4258.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Henry Foster Diary, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Biography

Henry Foster was born in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, on March 31, 1737, the son of Edward Foster (1714-1775) and Rachel Foster (d. 1803). He served in a provincial regiment at Lake George, New York, during the French and Indian War. He and his wife, Abigail Alexander, were married in Winchester, New Hampshire, and had seven children: Henry (1779-1859), Hannah (b. 1763), Abigail (b. 1766), Rachel (1776-1807), Edward (b. 1778), Moses (b. 1781), and Elisha (b. 1783). Henry Foster died in 1782.

The younger Henry Foster married Polly Hubbard (1785-1870), the daughter of Abner Hubbard (1750-1834) and Esther Hamlin (1760-1836) of Middletown, Connecticut. Abner Hubbard served as sergeant major of the 3rd Connecticut Regiment during the Revolutionary War, and later lived in Norwich, Vermont.


Collection Scope and Content Note

Henry Foster, a native of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, kept a diary (74 pages) while serving in a provincial regiment during the French and Indian War. Foster regularly composed diary entries between May 27 and October 29, 1758, while stationed in eastern New York. The collection also includes 10 pages of financial accounts kept by Abner Hubbard of Norwich, Vermont, whose daughter married Henry Foster's son.

Henry Foster's diary consists of a chronological journal, with notes, fragments, and penmanship and mathematics exercises. He added several sections by sewing pages into the diary.

The diary primarily covers the period between May and October 1758, with one entry dated November 1758. Foster left his home in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, in late May 1758, and served with his regiment near Albany, Fort Edward, and Lake George, New York. He described life in camp, which included loading wagons and marching. He saw French prisoners of war, and described skirmishes, ambushes, and other encounters with the enemy. Foster wrote about his march to Lake George in the days before the Battle of Carillon (Battle of Ticonderoga), about the death and embalming of Lord George Howe (July 7, 1758), and about the engagement on July 8, 1758. An entry dated July 28, 1758, describes an ambush of a British convoy, which included women and children, near Fort Edward.

Foster was stationed at Diamond Island in Lake George, New York, throughout much of the summer of 1758. He noted the deaths of some soldiers due to drowning, and remarked about the weather, sick and wounded soldiers, punishments for crimes committed by soldiers, food, and other aspects of daily life. One page of the diary contains the first part of a letter written on February 2, 1757.

Abner Hubbard's accounts contain personal financial records that he kept while living in Norwich, Vermont, between 1808 and 1812. Most reflect his purchases of corn, food, and horse-related items. At least one man paid a debt to Hubbard with labor.

The Henry Foster diary and Abner Hubbard accounts are accompanied by Hubbard's leather wallet, in which the papers were originally housed.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Howe, George Augustus Howe, viscount, 1724-1758.
    • Indians of North America--New York (State)
    • Lake George (N.Y.)
    • Military life.
    • New York (State)--History--French and Indian War, 1754-1763.
    • Norwich (Vt.)
    • Soldiers.
    • Ticonderoga, Battle of, N.Y., 1758.
    • United States--History--French and Indian War, 1754-1763.
    Genre Terms:
    • Account books.
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Henry Foster diary,  1758 [series] (74 pages)
     
    Abner Hubbard accounts,  1808-1812 [series] (10 pages)
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Bibliography

    References:

    Daughters of the American Revolution. Lineage Book . Volume 46. Washington, D.C.: Judd & Detweiler, 1918.

    Pierce, Frederick Clifton. Foster Genealogy: Being the Record of the Posterity of Reginald Foster . Part 2. Chicago: W. B. Conkey Co., 1899. 990, 992, and 995.