Madison Republican Banner October 7, 1846

A very strange obituary - there seem to be some local issues about it?

    DIED, in this city, on Monday evening, the 28th September, Mr. Amariah Foster, aged 62 years.
Mr. Foster had been a resident of Madison ever since its infancy, and was well and favorably known to the community at large, as a good and valuable citizen. For several years he was our City Marshal, and in that capacity, was an active and efficient officer. His long and hapless life was chequered over with more cloud than sun-shine, and although no one was ever more industrious than he, yet fortune favored not, nor smiled upon his toil. Prosperity attended not his undertakings in a degree commensurate with common expectation; and to a want of success in all his efforts, may, perhaps, be attributed many of the obvious asperitites of his character. To a disposition of stern and decided mould, he added many of the noble qualities which adorn and soften down our nature. No appeal was ever made to him by the poor, the needy or distressed, that went unheeded by, when in his power to extend a succoring hand. The helpless orphan and the deserted widow, were, to him, objects of especial interest, and to them were his warmest sympathies extended. Nor did it require supplicating tears, nor absolute wretchedness to call out his active charity. His was a creed of such benevolence, as not only to lift up the bowed down and stricken in heart but to sustain the sinking, and support the afflicted.
    Though differing in religious sentiments from what is generally esteemed the orthodox faith, yet his was an honest belief which was shaken not in the hour of death. He maintained his sentiments to the last of his rational moments, though conscious of his approaching end; for he believed with the celebrated John Wesley, that "every man must give an account of himself to God."
     His remains were accompanied to their last resting place in the City Cemetery, by a large procession of the Economy Temperance Society, of which association, for the last few years, he was a devoted member; and by the members of the Masonic Fraternity, of which body he also, was a member; and of which body he also, was a member of long and favorable standing. By his brethren of the "mystic-tie" he was deposited in the silent tomb with the usual rites and ceremonies of that ancient and peculiar institution: and when gathered in sorrow around the grave of their departed brother, " they mourned not as those without hope" for the sprig of acacia as a Masonic symbol of the resurrection morn, points out to them an ever verdant and brighter land beyond the tomb.

NEXT INSTALLMENT - Letter to the Editor
Madison Republican Banner October 21, 1846
For the Banner
Mr. Editor---The remarks on the character of our former Marshal, the late Amariah Foster, which appeared in an obituary notice, in the papers of last week, were both generous and just. Nothing is more calculated to exert a beneficial influence on the living, than reflections such as those alluded to on the character of the dead; nor is anything more fulsome or disgusting than awarding merit where it has been undeserved.
     It is truly observed of Mr. F. that he was possessed of a philanthropic heart, and in illustration of the assertion, I shall record the following facts; About 9 or 10 years ago, a stranger came to Madison afflicted with the small pox. Every dwelling, as might have been expected, rejected the loathsome sufferer. The authorities, to their eternal shame be it said, had him deposited in a slaughter house, whose stench (it was during very hot weather,) was sufficient to have sickened the healthy. The sick man became delirious, escaped from his horrible abode, and was about to spread the infection throughout the city. Money could not bribe a man to nurse him: the hearts all seemed frozen from fear. In this condition of things the late Mr. Foster came forward and volunteered his services, the only protection he had against the disease was vaccination many years before. When it is remembered that he had a young and beloved family dependent on him for support, and who would in consequence of his conduct incur a Liability to the disease, who can refrain from admiring his conduct or would withhold, upon his decease, a knowledge of such rare philanthropy.
    The brawling politicians who now, but too often fill the offices in the gift of our City Council, will never be guilty of such a piece of daring.
    Night after night did our Marshal continue his watch at the bed side of the man afflicted with the unsightly disease, and when death terminated his suffering, no one was near to place the body in a seemly position but his nurse and physician who attended to him in the latter part of his sickness.
    Mr. F. was subsequently seized with varioloid (varioloid - a mild form of smallpox in a vaccinated person or one who has previously had the disease. Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.) of a severe character, and, I believe, one of his family.
    The above simple relation of facts; which we hope may receive and insertion in your paper, and which we know will prove acceptable to many of the friends of Mr. F. who may have been unacquainted hitherto with the circumstances.
A Citizen Madison, October 11, 1846

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