A Share from UNH Special Collections & Thank You to Jessica McClain for permission
This is an introduction to the Collection on Foster-Spalding Family Papers
Joseph Foster, 1730-1804Col. Joseph Foster was born in what is now the town of Essex, Massachusetts in June 19, 1730. Initially a fisherman and sailor, Col. Foster became a merchant and sea capatin, living in Gloucester, Massachusetts for much of his life. In 1756 Joseph married Lydia Giddings, one of the couple’s eight children was Joseph Foster (1764-1816).
Col. Foster’s sea travel brought him to the West Indies and to points in Europe. Col. Foster was one of the wealthier land holders in Gloucester during the second half of the eigteenth century. He was present in Gloucester during the British attack on the city in August of 1775. Col. Foster would serve in the House of Representatives of Massachusetts from 1775 to 1776. Elected as Colonel of the Sea-Coast Forces during the Revolution in 1776.
In 1782, Col. Foster was captured with the ship “Polly” by Britishforces and was detained in Nova Scotia. Col. Foster died in 1804 in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Joseph Foster, 1764-1816Joseph Foster was the son of the previous Joseph Foster, and was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts May 27, 1764. Joseph was a sea captain, sailing to destinations in the West Indies and South America. In 1782 he married Rebecca Ingersoll and the couple had thirteen children, all born in Gloucester. One of Joseph and Rebecca’s children was Joseph Foster (1784-1843).
Joseph Foster was third mate on the ship “Polly,” with his father as captain when it was captured and detained in Nova Scotia by the British. Joseph was also involved in local government in Gloucester.
Joseph was lost at sea in 1816 near the Island of Guadaluope, West Indies, probably during a hurricane.
Dr. Lyman Spalding, M.D., 1775-1821Lyman Spalding, M.D. was born June 5, 1775 in Cornish, New Hampshire. Following graduation from Harvard in 1797, he studied medicine with Nathan Smith, M.D., whom he assisted in establishing a medical school at Dartmouth College, teaching the first chemistry courses at the school. After receiving an honorary degree from Dartmouth in 1798, Spalding began to practice medicine in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1799.
On October 9, 1802, Dr. Spalding married Elizabeth Coues (1779-1838), daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Jackson) Coues of Portsmouth. Ten years later, in 1812, he was elected president and professor of anatomy and surgery at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of the State of New York. Spalding moved his family to New York City in 1814, but resigned his academic post after only a few years in order to better serve his profession and family. While in New York, Spalding served as a trustee of the city’s free schools and played a part in establishing the city’s first Sunday schools.
Dr. Spalding’s life ended unexpectedly in 1821, as described in “Tribute to Dr. Spalding” (1840): “Walking in a street [in New York], some ponderous body from aloft struck him a violent blow on the head, and the gigantic intellect no longer performed its functions. Removed to Portsmouth, NH where his lady’s friends resided, he expired at that place soon after [October 30, 1821]. Such was the end of Lyman Spalding, a man whom none could approach without respect, or leave without affection.”
Elizabeth Coues Spalding, 1779-1838
Elizabeth Coues was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, December 16, 1779. She was the only child born to Elizabeth (Jackson) and Peter Coues. Her father, Peter Coues, had two other wives with whom he had an additional twelve children. Elizabeth met her husband Lyman Spalding when he came to her home as a physician to treat her step-grandmother for burn wounds. Elizabeth married Lyman Spalding, October 9, 1802 in Portsmouth.
Elizabeth was in Portsmouth for the birth of her five children, and often lived apart from her husband who had accepted a position in New York. Elizabeth moved back and forth between Portsmouth and New York and died in Portsmouth in 1838.
Joseph Foster, 1784-1843
Joseph Foster, the husband of Adelaide Coues Spalding Foster (below) was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts August 2, 1784. He was a sea captain and married first in 1806, Lucy Elwell. His first wife died in 1837 and he married Adelaide in 1838.
After attending school in Boston for several years, in about 1799 Joseph decided to go to sea, like his father and grandfather, as a sea captain. Joseph died on the ship “Ventrosa” off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in 1843. One of Joseph’s eleven children (three by Adelaide) was Joseph Foster (1841-1930).
Elizabeth Parkhurst Spalding, 1803-1878
Elizabeth Parkhurst Spalding, the first child born to Lyman and Elizabeth (Coues) Spalding, was born August 11, 1803 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was she who began collecting the family papers and letters, later taken up by her nephew, Joseph Foster. Elizabeth’s education included several years at the Manhattan Female Seminary. She returned to Portsmouth sometime before 1830, where she operated a School for Young Ladies during the 1830s.
Elizabeth never married. She traveled extensively in her lateryears, including a trip to Europe, as well as living for periods of time in Northwood and Claremont, New Hampshire. Her letters are testament to her desire for staying in contact with her family, especially the family of her sister Adelaide Coues (Spalding) Foster. Elizabeth died July 16, 1878 in Portsmouth.
Adelaide Coues (Spalding) Foster (1805- ?)
Adelaide Coues (Spalding) Foster, the second child of Lyman and Elizabeth (Coues) Spalding, was born in Portsmouth on December 3, 1805. She, like her sister, Elizabeth, was educated at the Manhattan Female Seminary.
On September 2, 1838 she married Joseph Foster III (1784-1843), a sea captain, in Portsmouth. Following her marriage, Adelaide lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where her three children were born. She was living there at the time of her husband’s death, on December 19, 1843, while serving on board the brig Ventrosa near Holmes’ Hole (now Vineyard Haven). Adelaide moved back to Portsmouth in 1850 with her two surviving children, Joseph Foster IV and Lyman Spalding Foster (her first child, who bore the same name as her mother, had died aged one year old in 1840). The date of Adelaide’s death is unknown, although it occurred sometime after the death of her sister in 1878.
Alfred Peter Spalding, 1815-1844Alfred Peter Spalding was the fourth child born to Lyman and Elizabeth (Coues) Spalding. Born in Portsmouth December 15, 1815, Alfred became a sea captain, like many other men in his family. The close relationship that Alfred had with his two sisters Elizabeth and Adelaide is evident from the many letters he exchanged with them.
Alfred was the master of the ship “Normandie” of New York and in 1844, was lost at sea during a return trip from England.
Edwin Stewart, 1837-1933Edwin Stewart was the father of Laurance Sprague Stewart, the husband of Dorothy Foster (Dorothy Foster was the third child of Joseph Foster (1841-1930). Edwin Stewart was born in New York, New York May 5, 1837 and graduated from Williams College in 1862. During the Civil War, he was appointed Assistant Paymaster in the U.S. Navy.
His naval career included service on the USS Pembina during the capture of Fort Royal, on the USS Richmond during the battles of Port Huron and Mobile Bay, on the USS Michigan in the Great Lakes, on the USS Hartford in China and Japan and on the USS Lancaster to Japan to represent the United States at the coronation of the Czar. In 1889 Edwin was appointed Paymaster General and was responsible for reorganizing the navy’s purchasing and accounting system, creating the US Navy Supply Corps. He retired from the navy in 1899 as a Rear Admiral.
Edwin Stewart was married twice, first to Laura Sprague Tufts in 1865 and second to Susan Maria Estabrook in 1877. He had a total of four children, the last of which was Laurence Sprague Stewart who married Dorothy Foster in 1919. Edwin Stewart died in 1933.
Joseph Foster, IV (1841-1930)
Joseph Foster, IV, the second child of Joseph, III, and Adelaide Coues (Spalding) Foster, was born June 17, 1841 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In November of 1850 he returned to Portsmouth with his mother and brother. He was educated at the Portsmouth Academy, and from 1857- 1862 worked as a clerk for Edward F. Sise, a dealer in coal, salt and crockery in Portsmouth.
On October 3, 1862 Joseph entered the navy as a Captain’s Clerk on the USS Augusta under Commander E. G. Parrott. In 1863 he was part of the convoy of General Bank’s Expedition from Hampton Roads, Virginia to Ship Island, Mississippi. On October 19, 1863 Joseph was appointed Acting Assistant Paymaster in the volunteer navy. He was present for the fall of Charlestown on February 10, 1865. While attached to the Commodore McDonough in 1865, he was able to save the public money, as well as his official books and papers from the wreck of that vessel. He was commissioned as Past Assistant Paymaster in 1867, Paymaster in 1877, Pay Inspector in 1898, and Pay Director in 1901, serving as the General Storekeeper at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. His duties brought him to many areas of the country and world, including Asia and the Caribbean.
On October 7, 1875 Joseph married, Helen Dickey (1853-1904), daughter of David and Lois Leverett (Nelson) Dickey. The couple had four children, the first two born during Joseph’s service in China. After his first wife’s death in 1904, Joseph married Josephine Hunt in 1906 in London. Joseph died May 17, 1930 in Portsmouth.
Foster and Spalding Family
| Lyman Spalding m. Elizabeth Coues
| (1775-1821) | (1779-1838)
Joseph Foster |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
Joseph Foster m. Adelaide C. Elizabeth P. Edward J. Alfred P. Lyman
(1784-1843) | (1805-1898) (1803-1879) (1819-1833) (1815-1844) (1810-1892)
_____________|_______________________________________ Susan Parker Parrott
| | | (1815-1889)
| | |
Adelaide Joseph Foster Lyman Foster
(1839-1840) (1841-1930) (1843-1904)
Helen Dickey Elima Hallet
| Edwin Stewart
| | | | |
| | | | |
Joseph Beatrice Isabel Dorothy m. Laurence Stewart
(1880-1947) (1882-1900) (1892-1937) (1886-1970) | (1886-1980)
Jane Holmes ___________|______________
| | |
_|____________________ Mary Lawrence
| | | m2.
| | | David Welch
Joseph John Mary Jane
Biographical information was primarily found in:
- Foster, Joseph. Colonel Joseph and His Children and Grandchildren. Cleveland, Ohio, 1947.
- Welch, David. Unpublished genealogical information on the Foster, Spalding, Coues, Stewart-Aikman and Estabrook families.