The Foster family were early residents of Prince Edward County. Robert Foster was born ca. 1739, in Amelia County, Virginia. The family became residents of Prince Edward County when it was divided from Amelia County in 1754. In 1769 Robert Foster became the first pastor of Sailor Creek Baptist Church in Prince Edward County. He died in 1796, naming his son Ezekiel as one of his executors.

Ezekiel Foster was born ca. 1765 and married Alley Murray in November 1783. The couple had (at least) four children: Joel, Nancy, Sally, and Elizabeth. Marriage records indicate that Nancy Foster married Abner Rowlett in 1807, Sally Foster married Richard F. Burks in 1815, and Elizabeth Foster married Carter Waddill in 1818. It is apparent, from the correspondence in this collection, that Joel Foster left Prince Edward County sometime prior to 1812. However, it is not known what happened to him subsequently. Ezekiel Foster died intestate, ca. 1826, at which time the administration of his father’s estate was transferred to Colonel John Foster, whose family owned the Travis Tavern in Prince Edward County.


This collection was donated to the Farmville-Prince Edward County Historical Society Archives by Ila Coss of Potomac, Maryland in 2005.

Scope and Content

This collection, which consists of a piece of correspondence from Joel Foster to his father Ezekiel Foster, dates from 1813. In the letter, posted from the Mississippi Territory, Joel Foster updates his father on crops harvested that year, the status of the draft (War of 1812), relations with the Creek Tribe, his prospects for marriage, and expectations for a better life.


This collection consists of .95 linear feet contained in (1) archival flat box.


There are no restrictions to access or use for research purposes.

View the full finding aid here: Foster Family Correspondence, HS-026


Submissions from 1813


Correspondence, Joel Foster to Ezekiel Foster, 1813, Joel Foster