MG 153 - Forster Collection

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Scope and Content

Collection consists of mainly the business papers of General John Forster including business correspondence during the years he was in banking, bank notes and bonds; account records, 1807-1809, and other correspondence during the years he was in the mercantile business, 1809-1818; family correspondence, 1826-1858; and a small book of Bible verses belonging to Elizabeth S. Forster.


John Forster, b. 1777, d. 1863, was at Princeton when President Washington called for volunteers to put down the "Whiskey Insurrection" in 1794 and served as an aid to General Murray on that expedition. He later read law, but never applied for admission. He went instead into the mercantile business and was very successful. He served in the State Militia and marched to the defense of Baltimore in 1814. He served in the State Senate, was cashier of the Harrisburg Bank, established the Bank of Lewistown and was cashier of the Exchange Bank of Pittsburgh. He was twice married; first to Mary Elder, daughter of John Elder and Elizabeth Awl; secondly to Margaret Law, daughter of Benjamin Law and widow of Rev. James Stuart, a Presbyterian minister of the Kishacoquillas Valley. There were children by both marriages.

Date(s): 1807-1858

Extent: 4 folders, 105 enclosures