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Murphy James Foster

Gov. Murphy James Foster

  • May 10, 1892 - May 21, 1900
  • Democratic
  • January 12, 1849
  • June 21, 1921
  • Louisiana
  • Washington and Lee University; Cumberland University; Tulane University
  • Married twice--Daisy Hine, Rosa Rosetta Ker; ten children
  • Senator


MURPHY J. FOSTER was born near Franklin, Louisiana on January 12, 1849. His education was attained at White Creek Preparatory School in Tennessee, at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, and at Cumberland University in Tennessee, where he graduated from in 1870. He continued his education at Tulane University, earning a law degree in 1871. Foster entered politics in 1876, winning election to the Louisiana Legislature. However, he was denied his seat. Three years later, he was elected to the Louisiana State Senate, where he served until 1892. He also was president of the senate from 1888 to 1890. Foster won the 1892 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by popular vote on April 19, 1892. He was reelected to a second term in 1896. During his tenure, an industrial institute and college in Ruston was organized, refugee camps were created after severe flooding hit in 1893, a New Orleans strike was subdued when the state militia was summoned, and the Louisiana State Lottery Company was dissolved. Also, a new election law was sanctioned, a revision was authorized that allowed railroad car segregation, and funding was granted for improvements in the capitol. After completing his term, Foster left office on May 21, 1900.  He secured an appointment to the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1901 to 1913.  From 1914 to 1921, he served as the collector of the port of New Orleans. Governor Murphy J. Foster passed away on June 12, 1921, and was buried at the Franklin Cemetery in Franklin, Louisiana.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Dawson III, Joseph G. The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1990.

Encyclopedia Louisiana

Louisiana Secretary of State: The Governors of Louisiana

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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