Foster's Letters

Richard Baxter Foster - black and white

The Letter Transcripts

March 7, 1863

May 11, 1863

March 8, 1865

March 12, 1865

March 30, 1865

May 24, 1865

 June 2, 1965

June 4, 1865

July 8, 1865

Sept 1, 1865

Sept 3, 1865

Oct 17, 1865




The letters, dated 1863-1865, donated by Fred Foster Fuller originated from Richard Baxter Foster, Lieutenant of the 62nd U.S.C.T. and founder of Lincoln University (Jefferson City, Mo.). The letters not only give incredible insight into the character of Foster, but also give insight into the educational foundations laid during the Civil War for the African American soldiers of the 62nd U.S.C.T. For example, the letter dated March 8, 1865, informs the reader that the regiment felt the Webster's Dictionary was so important, they used regimental funds to purchase one. Later on March 30, 1865, Foster relays to his wife, Lucy Foster, his future plans to settle in Missouri, and along with many others from the regiment, set up a schoolhouse. He also conveys his belief that fighting for the education of freed African Americans will be his life's work.

Update 2015: An updated version of the collection can be found at the Blue Tiger Commons: