Journals of John Marshall Foster, 1888-1902
Foster Family Papers
Yale Divinity Library Record Group No. 1

Born in Maine in 1857, John Marshall Foster responded to an appeal for China volunteers made by Baptist missionary William Ashmore in 1887. Sailing from San Francisco later the same year, Foster's journey ended at Shantou (then Swatow), center of the South China Mission on January 4, 1888. In January 1889, Foster married fellow Baptist missionary Clara Hess. The Fosters returned to the United States for their first furlough in 1894 and stayed for three years. Foster returned to the Shantou area in 1897, leaving his wife with some of their younger children in the U.S. In 1898, after the death of his father, John Marshall Foster returned briefly to the United States, arriving in May, sailing in November. Clara and the youngest children returned with him to China at this time. The outbreak of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, however, forced Clara to return to America with the children. For more information, see the finding aid available at

Thanks to a project sponsored by The Center for Christian Studies, Shantou University, digital files are available for the Journals written by John Marshall Foster between 1888 and 1902. A filename such as rg_001_007_001.pdf refers to Record Group No. 1, Box 7, Folder 1 . Please use the collection finding aid linked to above to view the folder labels.