Mailing Lists
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    1. [KNIGHTS-OF-LABOR] Frank Keys Foster (1854-1909)
    2. Joseph A. Betz
    3. Dear List, I am interested to know if anyone has photographs of Frank K. Foster (bio. below) or members of his family. He was an early organizer of the Knights of Labor. Thanks, Joe Betz Frank Foster grew up in Palmer and was educated in common schools and at Monson Academy. Between 1872 and 1876 he learned the printer's trade at the office of Churchman in Hartford, Connecticut. By 1878 he was working in Boston as a compositor and by 1882 as an editor. Frank Foster took an active leadership role in the early formation of trade unions in the United States. He was a member and secretary of the Hartford Typographical Union; president of the Cambridge Typographical Union; a delegate to the Federation of Trades Convention; secretary of the Boston Central Trades and Labor Union; and secretary to the Knights of Labor. Frank Foster, along with Samuel Gompers, helped to found the American Federation of Labor (A. F of L.), was its first national secretary and president of the state chapter. Frank Foster helped to steer labor unions away from Socialist and Marxist philosophy and toward the Democratic Party. He was nominated for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts at the Democratic Party Convention in Worcester on September 30, 1886. Although he narrowly lost the election by some two thousand votes he led the ticket and had an impressive showing in Boston. He was founder and editor of the Haverhill (Mass.) Daily and Weekly Laborer, editor of the Labor Leader and editor and publisher of the monthly magazine The Liberator. He authored several books including a novel, The Evolution of a Trade Unionist (1901), and a book of poetry, The Karma of Labor, and other Verses (1903). Frank Foster also attained fame through a historic debate at Faneuil Hall in 1904 in which he engaged Charles W. Eliot, President of Harvard University, on the principles of trade unionism. He was a great lecturer and Labor Day orator who spoke in 23 states. He was also a member of the board of managers of the Franklin Fund, a trustee of the Boston Public Library, a member of the Committee of 100, Boston Chamber of Commerce, The New England Civic Federation, the Boston Economic Club and the Boston Chess Club. Frank Foster was taken ill in February 1907. The Federation provided financial assistance to his family during his illness until his death in June 1909. The funeral was held at his home at 61 Wrentham St., Ashmont, on 29 June 1909. The Rev. Arthur Little, Pastor of the Second Congregational Church at Dorchester, conducted the services. Internment was at Cedar Grove Cemetery. Pallbearers included the Hon. John Fitzgerald, Mayor of Boston, Henry M. Whitney, E.A. Grozier, and Benjamin Joy. Boston, Massachusetts Directory, 1890 Frank K. Foster; Foster & Lemery - Labor Leader; cigars - editor; 134 Harrison Avenue; 49 Coleman Street; Boston MA 1890 A portrait of Frank Keys Foster is in the photographic collection at the The George Meany Memorial Archives, 10000 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20903. Publications Foster, Frank K., Has the non-unionist a right to work how, when, and where he pleases? Washington, D.C. The American federation of labor, 1904. Foster, Frank K., Trade Unionism: A Reply to the Criticism of Trades Union Methods, Contained in the Address of Charles W. Eliot of Harvard in Faneuil Hall, Feb. 7, 1904. Boston, Mass., s.n., 1904. Foster, Frank K., The Karma of Labor, and other Verses. Boston, Mass., s.n., 1903. Foster, Frank K., The Evolution of a Trade Unionist. Boston, Mass. Allied Printing Trades Council, 1901. Foster, Frank K., Labor Day, its meaning and significance : Labor Day address delivered at Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 3, 1900. Boston, Mass. : s.n., 1900. Foster, Frank K., "Labor Politics, Policies and Platforms." American Federationist 1, 1894: 5-6. Foster, Frank K., Report for 1889 of the Legislative Committee of the State Conference of Central Labor Unions. s.l. : s.n., 1889. Foster, Frank K., "Trade Unionism: Its Philosophy, Its Definition, Its Political Economy." Labor Leader, 29 Sept. 1888. Foster, Frank K., Protection vs. wages. New York, Free Trade Club, 1883. 1880 Census Place: Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts Source: FHL Film 1254543 National Archives Film T9-0543 Page 239C Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace Frank K. FOSTER Self M M W 24 MA Occ: Printer Fa: MA Mo: MA L. Ella FOSTER Wife F M W 25 CAN Occ: Keeps House Fa: NH Mo: VT -- Joseph A. Betz, R.A. Associate Professor of Architecture State University of New York at Farmingdale 2350 Broadhollow Road, 144 Lupton Hall Farmingdale, NY 11735 (631) 420-2098

    06/13/2003 04:17:38