Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FOSTER, Jedediah, jurist, born in Andover, Massachusetts, 10 October 1726; died in Brookfield, Massachusetts, 17 October 1779. He was graduated at Harvard in 1744, studied law, and practiced at Brookfield. He was a member of the Worcester County convention in August 1774, and a delegate to the provincial congress in the same year. At this time the House of Representatives elected him one of the executive council, and with several others he was negated by Governor Gage, but reelected in 1775. He was an active and useful representative, and served on most of the committees of each provincial congress. In 1775 he was appointed in conjunction with others to visit Lake Champlain and vicinity "as an investigating agent. In 1776 he was appointed a judge of the superior court, was for some time a judge of probate and a justice of the court of common pleas in Worcester County, and a member of the convention that framed the constitution of Massachusetts.
His son, Theodore Foster, lawyer, born in Brookfield, Massachusetts, 29 April 1752; died in Providence, R. I., 13 January 1828, was graduated at Brown in 1770, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Providence, R. I. For several years, as one of the overseers of Brown, he was among its most active friends. He was a member of the state House of Representatives in 1776'82, was town clerk of Providence for many years, and was appointed judge of the court of admiralty in May 1785. He was elected U. S. senator from Rhode Island in 1790, and was twice reelected, his term of service expiring in 1803. He was again a member of the legislature from 1812 till 1816, from the town of Foster, which bore his name. He was an antiquarian student, and collected the materials for a " History of Rhode Island," but never completed it. Dartmouth gave him the degree of A. M. in 1786.Another son, Dwight, jurist, born in Brookfield, Massachusetts, 7 December 1757; died there, 29 April 1823, was graduated at Brown in 1774, studied law with his brother Theodore in Providence, and afterward in Northampton, Massachusetts.
He was admitted to the bar in 1778, in Providence, and was commissioned a justice of the peace there in 1779. On his father's death in that year he removed to Brookfield, and, although only twenty-two years of age, was at once chosen to fill the former's place in the constitutional convention. He was made justice of the peace for the County of Worcester in 1781, and in 1792 was made special justice of the court of common pleas. In June of the same year he was appointed High Sheriff of the County. He served in each branch of the Massachusetts legislature, and in 1793'9 was a representative in congress, having been chosen as a Federalist. He was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1799, and in the same year was elected to the U. S. Senate in place of Samuel Dexter, resigned, serving from 1800 till 1803, when he resigned. He was chief justice of the court of common pleas for Worcester County, from 1801 till 1811, and in 18i8 a member of the Massachusetts executive council. Judge Foster also held other offices of public trust, but his last years were spent in retirement. Harvard conferred on him the degree of A. M. in 1784.
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