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Ephraim H. Foster

Ephraim Hubbard Foster
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
September 17, 1838 – March 4, 1839
October 17, 1843 – March 4, 1845
Preceded by Felix Grundy
Alfred O. P. Nicholson
Succeeded by Felix Grundy
Hopkins L. Turney
Personal details
Born (1794-09-17)September 17, 1794
Bardstown, Kentucky, U.S.
Died September 6, 1854(1854-09-06) (aged 59)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Jane M. Foster
Profession Politician, Lawyer

Ephraim Hubbard Foster (September 17, 1794 – September 6, 1854) twice served as a United States Senator from Tennessee. During his political career, he was a member of the Whig Party.


  • Biography 1
  • Notes 2
  • Sources 3
  • External links 4


Foster was born near Bardstown, Kentucky in Nelson County, the son of Robert Coleman Foster and the former Ann Hubbard.[1] In 1797 he moved with his parents to Tennessee, where they settled in the Nashville area. He later graduated from Cumberland College (1813) and later studied law, being admitted to the bar in 1820. He also served in the Creek War and was for a time private secretary to General Andrew Jackson.

He was a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1829 to 1831 and again from 1835 to 1837, serving each time as Speaker. Upon the resignation from the U.S. Senate of Felix Grundy to accept appointment as United States Attorney General, the Tennessee General Assembly elected Foster his successor. He served in the Senate for the first time from September 17, 1838 to March 4, 1839. The legislature elected him to continue in the new term, but he declined, refusing to take their instruction in how to vote while a Senator; the legislature then turned to Grundy, still Attorney General, to succeed him, which (controversially) Grundy agreed to do.

However, Grundy died in office about a year later. Alfred O. P. Nicholson agreed to serve on an interim basis; then for a period the seat was vacated entirely, but eventually the legislature agreed to elect Foster again to the seat and he agreed to serve. His second period of service in the Senate was from October 17, 1843 to March 4, 1845. During this time he chaired the Senate Committee on Claims. Later in 1845 Foster received the nomination of the Whig party for Governor of Tennessee, but was defeated in the election by Aaron V. Brown of the Democratic Party. Following this, Foster returned to his Nashville law practice until shortly before his death. He is buried in the old City Cemetery in Nashville.


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External links

Preceded by
Felix Grundy
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Tennessee
September 17, 1838 – March 4, 1839
Served alongside: Hugh L. White
Succeeded by
Felix Grundy
Preceded by
Alfred O. P. Nicholson
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Tennessee
October 17, 1843 – March 4, 1845
Served alongside: Spencer Jarnagin
Succeeded by
Hopkins L. Turney
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