Actress - Stage & Screen
Niece of Stephen Collins Foster
Daughter of West Virginia Army Officer
Born in Wheeling, W.Va., 1861
Photo (rt) by Aime Dupont, famous photographer in N.Y.C. & first photographer of New York's Metropolitan Opera.
(Cards owned by Linda Fluharty)
Presented by Linda Fluharty
Henrietta Foster Crosman (also Crossman) was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on September 2, 1861, the daughter of George Hampden Crosman, Jr. (b 1836) and his cousin, Mary Baldwin Wick. Mary, born in Youngstown, Ohio, was the daughter of Thomas Lupton Wick and Henrietta Foster.
The family is not found in the census records for Ohio County, (W) Va. for 1860 or 1870 but their association to the area at the time of Henrietta's birth is noted in her obituary and other news articles, which state that her father was "a Major who commanded the Army post in Wheeling." According to the published Foster Genealogy, he was a Lieutenant when he married his cousin, Mary Wick, and moved to Wheeling in 1860.
Letters at the West Virginia State Archives, written by George H. Crosman, JR. in August and September 1861, indicate he was the Assistant Adjutant General, District of Grafton. The Adjutant General for Virginia was James S. Wheat.
On page 323 of Loyal West Virginia by Theodore F. Lang, 1895, Captain Crossman is named an early member of General Benjamin Frankin Kelley's military family.
A letter written 14 October 1861 by G. H. Crosman (no JR.), Deputy Quartermaster General, Philadelphia, MAY have been written by George H. Crosman, SR., the grandfather of Henrietta.
Distinguishing George H. Crosman Jr. & Sr. is a bit difficult. It seems that more information is available about the older man, later a Brevet-General.
THE GRANDFATHER - From the Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Volume III: "Crosman, George Hampton, soldier, was born in Taunton, Mass., in November, 1798. He was graduated at the U.S. military academy in 1823 and served on frontier and garrison duty as 2d lieutenant in the 6th U.S. infantry. He was promoted 1st lieutenant, Aug. 20, 1828; was made assistant quartermaster, Oct. 15, 1830, serving throughout the Black Hawk and Seminole wars; was promoted captain, April 30, 1837, and in the Texas campaign of 1845-46 was chief quartermaster. He received the brevet of major for gallant action at Palo Alto, May 8, 1846; became major on the staff and quartermaster, March 3, 1847, and deputy quartermaster-general with the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1863. He was brevetted brigadier-general and major-general, U.S. army, for services during the civil war, and was retired in 1866, but served till 1868 as chief quartermaster of the department of the east. His son, Commander Alexander Foster Crosman, U.S.N., was drowned in Greytown harbor, Nicaragua, April 12, 1872. General Crosman prepared Manual for the Quartermaster's Department. He died in Philadelphia, Pa., May 28, 1882." [He is buried at Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia.]
It was George H. Crosman, a U.S. Army second lieutenant who fought in the Seminole wars in Florida, who first proposed the introduction of camels to America.
THE FATHER? - Fort Ransom, Dakota Territory, established in 1867 to protect overland travel from Minnesota to Montana, was named in honor of Brevet Major General Thomas E. G. Ransom of the US Volunteers. On June 17, 1867, a battalion of the 10th US Infantry, commanded by Brevet Major George H. Crosman, arrived and began work on enclosing a breastwork, completing it by August. [Crosman died May 1, 1909 and is buried at Stephen Merritt burial company Chapel - NY?]
The obituary notes that Henrietta's mother was related to Stephen Collins Foster, the composer of "My Old Kentucky Home" and other famous songs. In fact, Henrietta Crosman's maternal grandmother, Henrietta Angelica Foster, was the SISTER of the famous composer, their parents being William Barclay Foster and Eliza Clayland Tomlinson.
But Henrietta's father was also related to Stephen Collins Foster. Henrietta's paternal grandparents were George H. Crosman, Sr. and Hannah Blair Foster. Hannah was the daughter of William Foster and Hannah Blair of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. William's brother, James Foster, was the grandfather of Stephen Collins Foster.
The progenitor of this Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Foster family was Alexander Foster, born in Ireland.
While it is stated that Henrietta's father was in Wheeling serving in the military at the time of Henrietta's birth, it is also known that other descendants of the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Foster family were residing in Wheeling at that time.
John and Ann Foster appear in the 1850 and 1860 census records of Ohio County. John was a stage agent and is named in Chapter XI of the book, History of the Upper Ohio Valley: "…There were two separate lines running between Frederick City, Md., and Wheeling, Va., - the National Road Stage company and the Good Intent Stage company….. Mr. John Foster, better known as 'Pap Foster' was the office agent for the two companies in Wheeling. No more faithful man was ever employed by any company. He always slept at the office and was well-known to the traveling public. In 1852 the Baltimore & Ohio railroad was finished to Wheeling, and then the wheels of the coaches stopped. The horses were sold and the drivers scattered." - Henry C. Foster, the son of John and Ann, served in the 1st W.Va. Infantry during the Civil War and he stated in his Enlistment Declaration that he was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. That said, John's parents have not been identified.
The first husband of Henrietta Crosman was Sedley Brown. They had one son, George Crosman Sedley-Brown, known in his radio and theatrical career as Sedley Brown.
With Maurice Campbell, Ms. Crosman's second husband, she had a son, Maurice Campbell, Jr.
An interesting article in the New York Times provides further information about Henrietta's ancestry: Miss Crosman An Heiress?