Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Foster, Ephraim H. (1794-1854) to William Graham

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also request a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02803 Author/Creator: Foster, Ephraim H. (1794-1854) Place Written: Nashville, Tennessee Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 21 September 1814 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 24.5 21 cm.

Summary of Content: Foster writes to a childhood friend. Tells Graham of recently becoming a lawyer, his drive to succeed, and his plans to live in Nashville in order to "avoid a life of disagreeable solitude, in an insignificant country village." Dramatically reacts to the burning of Washington, D.C., describing the stakes of the War of 1812 as "our Liberty, our Independence, our national existence." Sees a possible benefit, if America's wounded pride galvanizes support for the war. Reports news about their acquaintances. Foster was a secretary to Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812 and later served in the Tennessee house of representatives and the U.S. senate.

People: Foster, Ephraim Hubbard, 1794-1854
Graham, William P., fl. 1814-1815
Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: War of 1812FriendshipLawImmigration and MigrationGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyWartime Pillaging and DestructionWashington, D.C.Freedom and IndependenceMilitary History

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources