Charles H. Foster collection, 1898-1967
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Foster, Charles Herbert, 1881-1976
- This collection is made up of correspondence, military records, photographs, newsletters, scrapbooks, and other items pertaining to the military career of Charles H. Foster, who served in the United States Navy from 1898-1934.
- 3 linear feet
- Collection processed and finding aid created by Meg Hixon, December 2012
- Scope and Content:
The Charles H. Foster collection consists of correspondence, military records, photographs, newsletters, scrapbooks, and other items pertaining to the military career of Charles H. Foster, who served in the United States Navy from 1898-1934.
The collection's correspondence (144 items) primarily relates to Foster's naval service after 1902. Letters, memorandums, orders, and reports concern his ship assignments and work at the Naval Gun Factory (Washington Navy Yard) during World War I. One group of letters from the early 1920s relates to the acquisition of dependent's pay for Foster's mother. A series of World War II-era documents respect Foster's fitness for active duty. After World War II, he received letters from military acquaintances and veterans of the Spanish-American War.
Charles H. Foster's 1918-1919 diary concerns his travel on the Huron between the United States and France. Notes, newspaper clippings, and a telegram laid into the volume regard deaths, the military, and historical inquiries.
The papers include 4 of Charles H. Foster's scrapbooks, which contain materials related to the USTS Alliance's 1897-1898 training mission; naval ships, personnel, and theatrical and musical programs and performances; the Mexican Revolution and Mexican politics in the mid-1910s; and naval equipment, camps, and weapons tests.
Sixty-three photographs depict U.S. Navy sailors and vessels. One group of pictures show scenes from the Huron's voyage between France and the United States during World War I. The collection also features photographic postcards sent by Charles H. Foster and others from Mexico, the Philippines, Japan, Germany, and Borneo.
Financial records, legal documents, and service records primarily pertain to Charles H. Foster, with a focus on his time on the USS West Virginia in the 1920s and his mother's financial dependency. Documents, blueprints, photographs, and other items relate to devices patented by Charles H. Foster and others. Two service ribbons appear in the collection, mounted onto a wallet printed with "United States Battle Fleet, Sydney, 1925," which also contains a travel pass and membership card for Charles H. Foster.
The collection includes 429 typescripts about early American history, the Civil War, South Carolina Confederate soldiers, the Spanish-American War, aviation, and the US Navy. Rosters of American Navy ships and personnel include information on Union vessels during the Civil War; casualties from the 1898 USS Maine explosion; USTS Alliance naval apprentices in 1898; USS West Virginia officers in 1926; and the names and addresses of members in several naval veterans' associations.
A "Personal Log" by Royal Emerson Foster relates to his service on the SSAC Bedford in early 1919, with descriptions and illustrations of naval equipment, ship construction, signaling, personnel, and other subjects. The navy publication Rules to Prevent Collisions of Vessels also appears in the Log.
US Naval Ex. Apprentices Association materials include copies of Trade Winds, the association's newsletter, from 1939-1964. The newsletters are accompanied by a list of Alliance apprentices in 1898. A copy of Rocks and Shoals, a publication for former crewmen of the USS Memphis, is also present. Other printed works include military publications about equipment and procedures, a handbook on medicine, the Mariner's Pocketbook, A History of Guantanamo Bay, newspaper clippings, a souvenir book from the US Naval Training Station in Newport, Rhode Island, a death announcement, and a map of Arlington National Cemetery.
Notes, reports, and a bound volume concern the history of the Foster, Yates, and Lindstrom families.
- Biographical / Historical:
Charles Herbert Foster was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 22, 1881, the son of David M. Foster (1855-1899) and Florence E. Foster (1862-1925). Foster first enlisted in the United States Navy on January 18, 1898, and he served intermittently until retiring in March 1934. Foster served as a gunner on several ships, including the USS Chauncey, USS West Virginia, and USS Huron . During World War I, he was stationed at the Washington Navy Yard, and he was not recalled for active duty during World War II. Charles Henry Foster died in 1976 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
- Acquisition Information:
- 1999. M-4066 .
- 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.
The collection is in a temporary arrangement.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Spanish-American War, 1898--Veterans.
World War, 1914-1918--Naval operations, American.
World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American.
Blueprints (reprographic copies)
Card photographs (photographs)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Instructions (document genre)
Orders (military records)
Receipts (financial records)
Alliance (Screw gunboat)
Naval Gun Factory (Washington, D.C.)
United States. Navy--Apprentices.
United States. Navy--Communication systems.
United States. Navy Dept. Bureau of Navigation.
United States. Navy--Equipment and supplies.
United States. Navy--Gunners.
United States. Navy--History.
United States. Navy--Pay, allowances, etc.
United States. Navy--Supplies and stores.
Washington Navy Yard.
Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, Va.)--Manuscript maps.
United States. Navy--Sea life.
United States. Navy.
Huerta, Victoriano, 1845-1916.
Foster, Royal Emerson.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright status is unknown
- PREFERRED CITATION:
Charles H. Foster Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan