John W. Foster

John Watson Foster ( born March 2, 1836 Pike County, Indiana, † November 15, 1917 in Washington, DC ) was an American journalist, army officer and politician, who served as Secretary of the Cabinet of President Benjamin Harrison.

Who grew up in Evansville John Foster made ​​his first degree in 1855 at the University of Indiana. He then attended the Law School of Harvard University and began then, although he was never formally incorporated into a Bar Association to practice as a lawyer in Evansville. During the Civil War he joined the Union army and initially held the rank of Major; later he rose after the successful capture of Fort Donelson on to the Colonel. He commanded the 136th Volunteer Infantry Regiment from Indiana and later a brigade.

After his retirement from the military Foster returned to Indiana, where he worked as an editor at the Evansville Daily Journal, which was under his direction to an institution of the Republicans. In 1869 he was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant Minister to Mexico; after eleven years in that post enabled him Grant's successor Rutherford B. Hayes on the ambassador to Russia, where he was active but only until 1881. Eventually Between 1883 and 1885 he served after the appointment by President Chester A. Arthur still as ambassador to Spain.

Beginning in 1885 Foster was living again in the United States and went back to his legal practice until he was in 1890 appointed by President Harrison Goodwill Ambassador and in this capacity negotiated treaties with Spain, Russia and Great Britain. Two years later, in June 1892, Harrison brought him as successor to the retiring Secretary of State James G. Blaine in his cabinet. There, Foster remained after Harrison's defeat in the presidential election of that year against Grover Cleveland only until February 1893. During this time he dealt among other things with the possible annexation of the Kingdom of Hawaii and a Chilean attack on American sailors.

Even after his time in the federal government remained active as a diplomat Foster. In 1895 he represented the interests of China in peace negotiations to end the Sino-Japanese War. For President William McKinley, he worked as a special ambassador to Great Britain and Russia, whose successor Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to head the U.S. Commission in negotiations with Canada in 1903. Additionally, he served in 1907 at the Second Hague Peace Conference once again as the representative of China.

Foster has written numerous books on diplomatic themes. He was co-founder of the American Society of International Law in 1906 and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1910). Although he declined in his later years of life to pacifism, but still supported the entry of the United States in the First World War. Even before the end of which he died in November 1917 in Washington. At this time his son Robert Lansing was U.S. Secretary of State; his grandson, John Foster Dulles was later to hold that office.