Some 174 years after her death, Lucy Foster finally has a headstone.
Foster was born into slavery in 1767 in Boston, given to Hannah Foster of Andover at age 4, and freed at age 16 when slavery was abolished in Massachusetts. She was a member of South Church for 50 years. Foster died in 1845 and was interred in the church’s burying ground but never had a headstone.
Saturday, 10 girls from a small, private high school in Wenham visited Andover to hold a memorial remembrance for Foster. The girls, students at The Academy at Penguin Hall, researched the lives of local slave women for an elective class. The students researched Foster’s life at the suggestion of both Elaine Clements, the executive director of the Andover Historical Society, and Charlotte Lyons, the historian for South Church.
The students also worked closely with Massachusetts slate artist Michael Updike, son of author John Updike, to design a headstone for Foster.