Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Mary Parke McFerson Foster 1840 ~ 1922


Mrs. Foster, president-general of the Daughters of the American Revolution, was born in Salem, Indiana, and is a direct descendant of a line of Revolutionary heroes on both sides of the house.

Mrs. Foster is the daughter of the late Rev. Alexander McFerson, her mother being Eliza Reed McFerson, whose nine brothers all became distinguished at the bar, in medicine, or in the army or navy. She graduated at Glendale College, near Cincinnati.

Her marriage to Mr. Foster has proved a very happy one. In 1873, four years after the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Foster, General Grant appointed Mr. Foster minister to Mexico. Their residence at the Mexican capital covered a period of seven years. During this time Mrs. Foster became thoroughly familiar with the language, people, habits and manners of the country. Many of the literary societies of Washington have been beneficiaries of her and her husband's experience and knowledge.

From Mexico Mr. Foster was transferred to St. Petersburg, in 1880, by President Hayes. During her stay in Russia, Mrs. Foster spent a part of her time in translating Russian fiction into English. Upon Mr. Foster's return to Washington, he was again urged by President Arthur to accept a mission to Spain, which he accepted in 1884. During a residence there of two and a half years Mrs. Foster mingled in the brilliant court of Alphonso XII. The residence in Washington of Mr. and Mrs. Foster has often been the scene of brilliant social events.

Mrs. Foster is a woman who has had personal experience in the working of the various governments of the world. She has seen the glory and pomp of monarchs, emperors and kings, and comes back to the simplicities of a democratic republican government more of an American than ever, believing that her institutions are the making of the grandest people of the earth, for the foundation of her law is for whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure and of good report.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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