Diana J. Kleiner

FOSTER, JAMES M. (1815?–?). James M. Foster, Calhoun County cattleman, had homes on Chocolate Bayou, at Old Town, and at other places in the county. By 1849 or earlier he shipped beef by steamship from Indianola to New Orleans, thus opening the first reliable market for Texas beef. Thomas O'Connor sold him one of his first shipments at ten dollars a head, a price that increased by 1857 to between sixteen and twenty dollars a head. The 1860 census lists Foster as a native of Kentucky, aged forty-five, with a wife, Mary. The beef trade ceased in 1861 but resumed after the Civil War. Foster conducted the business through purchasing agents who visited ranches across the county. He shipped his cattle by the Morgan Lines, on which he secured by charter the entire carrying capacity north to Texas ports. He later used the Vanderbilt line. In competition with Silvanus Hatch, Foster also provided animal pens and hotel service for drovers across Chocolate Creek from Hatch's property.

Paul H. Freier, A "Looking Back" Scrapbook for Calhoun County and Matagorda Bay, Texas (Port Lavaca, Texas: Port Lavaca Wave, 1979).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Diana J. Kleiner, "FOSTER, JAMES M.," accessed August 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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