Morrison Foster

Morrison Foster
Born (1823-06-10)June 10, 1823
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died May 14, 1904(1904-05-14) (aged 80)
Grove City, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, USA
Resting place Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US.[1]
Occupation Agent for Stephen Foster, Businessman
Home town Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
Spouse(s) Jessie Lightner Foster (unknown-1882), Rebecca Shields Snowden Foster (1847 - 1929)
Children Evelyn Louise Foster Murray (unknown-1884), Evelyn Oliver Foster Morneweck Murray (1887 - 1973), William Barclay Foster (1890 - 1947)
Parent(s) William Barclay Foster (1779 - 1855), Eliza Clayland Tomlinson Foster (1788 - 1855)
Relatives James Foster (grandfather)
Siblings:Charlotte Susanna Foster (1809 - 1829), Anne Eliza Foster Buchanan (1812 - 1891), Henry Baldwin Foster (1816 - 1870), Henrietta Angelica Foster Thornton (1819 - 1879), Dunning McNair Foster (1821 - 1856), Stephen Foster (1826 - 1864)

Morrison Foster (June 10, 1823  May 14, 1904), is best known as the older brother, business agent and biographer for Early American Music composer and lyricist Stephen Foster. When Stephen Foster died at age 37, Morrison continued to manage Stephen's estate and acted as a mediator between music publishers and Stephen Foster's wife and daughter. Documents demonstrate his correspondence with publishers in his receipt of royalty payments on behalf of Stephen's heirs.[2] Morrison also wrote the first biography of Stephen Foster. Morrison's daughter Evelyn, wrote an autobiography about her uncle, Chronicles of Stephen Foster's Family.[3]

Morrison's writings

In some instances, Morrison's biography conflicts with primary sources and other biographies on the life of his brother, Stephen Foster. He was selective in keeping records and correspondence that belonged to his brother, discarding items that he thought embarrassing. In his biography of Stephen he created an image of a dreamer, a naturally gifted musician, and a genius of a songwriter. He also wrote that Stephen was a devoted son to his parents. He portrayed his brother as being careless with his finances. Later biographies conflict with that of Morrison.[4]

Civic activity

Morrison Foster served on the Allgheny County Centennial Committee as Chairman in 1887.[5]


  1. "Evelyn Louise Foster Murray (unknown – December 25, 1884)". Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 2015-10-10.
  2. Root, Deane L. (March 12, 1990). "The "Mythtory " of Stephen C. Foster or Why His True Story Remains Untold". American Music Research Center Journal (Lecture transcript at the American Music Center Research Conference): 20–36.
  3. Howard, John Tasker (1944). "The Literature on Stephen Foster". Notes. 1 (2): 10. doi:10.2307/891301. ISSN 0027-4380.
  4. "Foster Hall Collection, Collection Number: CAM.FHC.2011.01, Guide to Archives and Manuscript Collections at the University of Pittsburgh Library System". University of Pittsburgh, Center for American Music. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  5. Allegheny County: its early history and subsequent development: from the earliest period till 1790 / by A. A. Lambing ; from 1790 till the present time / by J. W. F. White ; published under the auspices of the Allegheny County Centennial Committee. Authors: Allegheny County Centennial Committee (Pa.), Lambing, Andrew Arnold, 1842-1918, White, J.W.F. (John William Fletcher), 1821-1900, McCain, George Nox, 1856-1934. Collection: Historic Pittsburgh Text Collection
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