Foster, John W.

1902 LS of the diplomat, Secretary of State, author, and first legal "lobbyist', to Admiral George Dewey

Price: $90.00

Description:
(1836-1917) Indiana-born diplomat, lawyer and journalist, Secretary of State 1892-93 (last 6 months of Benj. Harrison's term). He was influential as a lawyer in technically private practice in the international relations sphere. Graduate of the fledgling Indiana University 1855, Harvard Law School graduate. In the Civil War he rose to colonel of Indiana volunteers, his troops the first to enter Knoxville, Tenn. after the successful campaign by General Burnside. After the war, he returned to Indiana and (in addition to his legal practice) edited the Evansville Daily Journal 1865-69, which he used to promote the Republican Party. Foster moved to Washington when Grant was elected president. As a reward for his political services successive Republican Presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield and Arthur appointed Foster US Ambassador to Mexico (1873-80), Russia (1880-81) and Spain (188385). In Benjamin Harrison's administration, Foster served as a State Department "trouble shooter" before becoming Secretary of State for the final 6 months of Harrison's term (June 29, 1892-Feb. 2, 1893), replacing James G. Blaine. As Secretary of State, Foster helped direct the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. After leaving office, he remained in Washington and invented a new type of legal practice, lobbying for large "corporations seeking favors in Washington and chances to expand abroad." Foster also used government and political contacts to secure legal fees as counsel to several foreign legations. He continued to serve Presidents part-time on diplomatic missions. He negotiated trade agreements with 8 countries, brokered a treaty with Britain and Russia concerning seal hunting in the Bering Sea, and negotiated the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki (technically as legal consultant and commissioner for the Qing Dynasty) in which China recognized Korean independence and ceded Taiwan to the victorious Japanese after the First Sino-Japanese War. Foster wrote "American Diplomacy in the Orient" (1903), "Arbitration and the Hague Court" (1904), and "The Practice of Diplomacy as Illustrated in the Foreign Relations of the United States". His grandchildren included future Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and CIA Director Allen W. Dulles; a son-in-law was Robert Lansing, later also Secretary of State. Brief LS on 7 x 4 1/2 engraved "1323 Eighteenth Street,/Washington, D.C." letterhead, November 19 1902, to Admiral George Dewey, then President of General Board of the Navy, in full: "At the request of Mr. Lata, the Parsee gentleman whom you met at my house, I send you the accompanying [not here] book on India." At bottom, Dewey has written "Answered. /G.D." GEORGE DEWEY (1837-1917) US Navy officer, led Asiatic Squadron 1897-99. He received news of the US declaration of war against Spain while in Hong Kong and immediately sailed for the Philippines. He destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay May 1, 1898 and supported the army in the capture of city. Admiral of the Navy from 1899, President of General Board of the Navy 1900-17.

Condition: Very good, docketed on inside page in another hand with light "Admiral's Office" stamp
Type:Letter






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