Murphy James Foster, Sr. (1849 - 1921)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: sugar plantation, Franklin, St. Mary, LA, USA
Death: Died in Franklin, LA, USA
Cause of death: Ill Health for a Long Time
Occupation: 31st and 32nd Governor of Louisiana, State Senator, U.S. Senator and later Collector of Customs at New Orleans, attorney, governor of Louisiana, U.S. Senator
Managed by: Joel Scott Cognevich
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About Murphy James Foster, Sr.

Murphy J. Foster personified Bourbonism: paternalistic and protective of the Democratic Party. Foster was part of the codification of "Jim Crow" to separate blacks and whites in daily life. He was partly responsible for limiting voting rights in the Constitution of 1898 to literate men who owned property and to men whose grand- father or father had been registered in 1867.

Foster called out the state militia in New Orleans to break a labor union strike with military force. He passed legislation establishing the forerunner to Louisiana Tech and built temporary camps to house flood victims.

Foster was re-elected in 1896 with the help of somewhat questionable returns from north Louisiana but to his credit, the Governor ended the prison lease system and regulated railroads whose practices hurt agriculture in Louisiana. Foster faced the beginnings of the Populist revolt against the Democrats, but joined the Populists in opposing the Louisiana Lottery which finally abandoned the state during his term.

The Louisiana Legislature elected Foster to the U. S. Senate the day after his term as Governor ended. Woodrow Wilson later appointed him Collector of Customs in New Orleans.

Foster died on his plantation near Franklin in 1921.

-------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- the following excerpt is from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_J._Foster ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Murphy James Foster, Sr. (January 12, 1849 – June 21, 1921), was a Louisiana politician who served two terms as a Democratic governor of Louisiana from 1892 – 1900.[1] His grandson, Murphy J. Foster, Jr., served as a Republican governor of the state from 1996 to 2004.

Foster was born on a sugar plantation near Franklin, the seat of St. Mary Parish, to Thomas Foster and the former Martha P. Murphy. He was educated in public schools and attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and graduated from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1870. He studied law at the University of Louisiana (later Tulane University) in New Orleans and was admitted to the bar in 1871.

On May 15, 1877, Foster married the former Florence Daisy Hine, the daughter of Franklin merchant T.D. Hine. She died on August 26, 1877 at age 19. In 1881, he married the former Rose Routh Ker, daughter of Captain John Ker and the former Rose Routh of Ouida Plantation in West Feliciana Parish near Baton Rouge. The couple had ten children, nine of whom lived to maturity. One was Murphy James Foster, II, the father of future Governor Mike Foster. Mike Foster is technically Foster, III, but he uses the term "Jr." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- the following is excerpted from: http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/findaid/f4710.html ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Murphy James Foster (1849-1921) was an attorney, Louisiana state senator (1880-1892), Governor (1892-1900), and United States Senator (1900-1912). He was born near Franklin, La., the son of Thomas Foster and Martha P. Murphy. He attended college at Washington and Lee University and Cumberland University in Tennessee, where he graduated in 1870. Subsequently, he studied law at the University of Louisiana (now Tulane University) and passed the Louisiana bar examination in 1871. He was married briefly to Florence Daisy Hine, then remarried in 1881 to Rose Routh Ker, daughter of John Ker and Rose Routh at Ouida Plantation in West Feliciana Parish, La.

They produced ten children, nine of whom reached maturity: Rose Routh Foster (1882-1972) Elizabeth Ratliff Foster (1883-1974) Lucy Price Foster (1885-1886) Mary Lucy Foster (1886-1984) Willia Ker Foster (c.1889-1993) William Prescott Foster (1890-1947) Louisiana Navarro Foster (1894-1984) Martha DeMari Foster (1896-1991) Murphy James Foster, Jr. (1898-1981) Sarah Ker Foster (1903-1992)

Murphy J. Foster was elected Governor with the assistance of the Farmer's Alliance in 1892, and re-elected in 1896. After his tenure as Governor and then as a U. S. Senator, he was appointed as a collector of customs in New Orleans. Some of Foster's main political concerns during his career were the issue of black suffrage, outlawing the Louisiana Lottery Company, efforts to protect sugar growers, flood control, and the regulation of railway rates. Many of these issues gained national attention, in part thanks to his efforts. He died at his home on Dixie Plantation in 1921.

Rose Routh Ker was the youngest of five children. She was born in 1861 on a plantation owned by her grandfather in Catahoula Parish, La. Both of her parents died before she was four years old, so she was raised by her cousins, Alice Wade and Elizabeth Ratliff of Ellerslie Plantation outside St. Francisville.

Rose was sent to the Sacred Heart Convent in St. James Parish for an education at the age of eleven. She later was sent to a finishing school at Afton Villa. She met Murphy J. Foster in 1880, when he was already a State Senator. They married in 1881. In 1883, they purchased an abandoned plantation near Franklin, La., and named it "Dixie."

When Murphy Foster was elected Governor in 1892, the family moved to Baton Rouge, and left Dixie Plantation in the hands of a caretaker. Rose Ker Foster and her husband were active hosts, and entertained parties for groups such as the Association of Firemen regularly.

During Murphy Foster's residence in Washington D.C., Rose managed Dixie Plantation. She and her husband lived at Dixie until his death in 1921. Rose remained in the family home until her death at the age of 97, in 1959. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_J._Foster

Murphy James Foster, Sr. (January 12, 1849 – June 12, 1921), was a Louisiana politician who served two terms as the 31st Governor of Louisiana from 1892 to 1900.


Early and personal life


Foster was born on a sugar plantation near Franklin, the seat of St. Mary Parish, to Thomas Foster and the former Martha P. Murphy. He was educated in public schools and attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and graduated from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1870. He studied law at the University of Louisiana (later Tulane University) in New Orleans and was admitted to the bar in 1871.


On May 15, 1877, Foster married the former Florence Daisy Hine, the daughter of Franklin merchant T.D. Hine. She died on August 26, 1877, at age 19. In 1881, he married the former Rose Routh Ker, daughter of Captain John Ker and the former Rose Routh of Ouida Plantation in West Feliciana Parish near Baton Rouge. The couple had ten children, nine of whom lived to maturity. One was Murphy James Foster, II, the father of future Governor Murphy (Mike) Foster. By and large the family has been Episcopalian.


Road to governorship


Prior to serving as governor, he was a state senator from 1880 to 1892. In 1892, he was elected governor as the Democratic Party nominee, and he had the support of the Farmer's Alliance as well.


His lieutenant governors were, first, Hiram R. Lott and then Robert H. Snyder of Tensas Parish in the second term.


John N. Pharr


In the 1896 general election, Foster officially gained reelection. He defeated the Republican-Populist fusion candidate John Newton Pharr (1829–1903), a sugar planter from St. Mary Parish. Lewis Strong Clarke, a neighboring sugar planter from St. Mary Parish, directed the Pharr campaign. Pharr had possibly gained a majority of the actual votes and won twenty-six of the then fifty-nine parishes, with his greatest strength in north central Louisiana and the Florida Parishes to the east of Baton Rouge. With the assistance of the Regular Democratic Organization political machine based in New Orleans, Foster officially received 116,116 votes (57 percent) to Pharr's 87,698 ballots (43 percent). The election, however, suffered heavily from fraud which benefited Foster, and a clear accounting of the election results is probably not possible. Subsequently Foster saw to the adoption of the Louisiana Constitution of 1898, "to disenfranchise blacks, Republicans, and white Populists" (all of whom had voted overwhelmingly for John N. Pharr) and moved Louisiana more toward "Solid South" Democratic hegemony. Thus, after Foster's reelection in 1896, Louisiana general elections became foregone conclusions lacking intensity and voter participation until the latter half of the 20th century. By 1908, for example, when John N. Pharr's son Henry Newton Pharr (eponym of Pharr, Texas) sought the Louisiana governorship as a Republican, he gained just 11.1 percent, of a much reduced number of voters in comparison with his father's campaign against Foster in 1896.


Senator and customs official


After leaving the office of governor in 1900, Foster was elected by the state legislature as a U.S. senator. He served until 1913, when he lost the Democratic nomination. Thereafter, he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson as the customs collector in New Orleans.


Death


He died in 1921 on the Dixie Plantation near Franklin, some nine years before his future grandson-governor was born.


Legacy


Foster struggled to maintain white supremacy in Louisiana through his support of the Louisiana Constitution of 1898, which practically disfranchised blacks. He also led the fight which succeeded in outlawing the Louisiana Lottery Co. Foster fought for the interest of sugar growers and supported flood-control legislation and the regulation of railway rates.


Foster was the last governor of Louisiana to serve two consecutive 4-year terms until John J. McKeithen (who served from 1964 to 1972).


Foster was the last Democratic gubernatorial nominee prior to John J. McKeithen in the election cycle of 1963 to face a really serious challenge from a Republican (Charlton Lyons).


In 1997, Foster was posthumously inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.


His grandson, Murphy J. Foster, Jr., served as a Republican governor of the state from 1996 to 2004. Mike Foster is technically Foster III, but he uses the term "Jr." instead.

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Murphy J. Foster, Sr.'s Timeline

1849
January 12, 1849
Franklin, St. Mary, LA, USA
1877
May 15, 1877
Age 28
Franklin, LA, USA
1881
1881
Age 31
Baton Rouge, Feliciana, LA, USA
1882
1882
Age 32
1883
1883
Age 33
1885
1885
Age 35
1886
December 10, 1886
Age 37
1889
1889
Age 39
1890
1890
Age 40
1896
1896
Age 46