Last week we mentioned James D. Foskett, the first librarian of the American Numismatic Society, noting that very little is known of him today. ANS Archivist Joe Ciccone writes:
I, for one, would love to learn more about Foskett. I've been compiling biographical files for the ANS on all of its former officers and while I've had a good bit of success, Foskett has eluded me.
His contributions to the ANS Library are actually a good bit less than one might guess. Although he technically was Librarian from 1858 through 1864, after 1860 the ANS did not meet again until 1864. And when they did regroup early in 1864, Foskett was a no-show. The first person to make substantial contributions to the ANS Library really was Isaac Wood, who served as Librarian from 1869-1880. I've been able to collect some biographical information on him, but what I'm really dying for is a photo, if anyone has one.
Was Foskett a soldier in the Civil War? If so, was he injured or killed in battle? Some of our readers are genealogists - could someone please check military records for Foskett? Thanks. -Editor
That's a very good idea. I seem to recall that he was still alive post-Civil War but just not interested in continued participation - I'd need to double-check the correspondence files, of course, to confirm my recollection. Even if he wasn't killed, if he did serve there would be pension records, which are a terrific source of information.
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