Biography of Rev. Stephen Foreman

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The subject of our sketch was the son of a Scotchman named Foreman, by a Cherokee wife. His father dying while Stephen was eight or nine years old the boy was thrown, to a great extent, on his own resources. Being very industrious, however, and exhibiting a good deal of ambition, his friends aided him in procuring an education. During his youth he worked pretty hard, and spent such money as he could accumulate on his schooling. Dr. Worcester, the celebrated Presbyterian missionary, took him in charge in his eighteen year and gave him a classical education. Stephen then went to Richmond, Virginia, and there attended college for some years, after which he completed his education at Princeton, New Jersey, and was soon authorized and licensed by the Presbyterian Board to preach the gospel among his own people. For many years Rev. Stephen Foreman was associated with Rev. S. A. Worcester, and during the lives of these illustrious men they translated the New Testament from English to the native (Cherokee) language. When the Cherokees were removed from their old homes in Georgia Rev. Stephen was given charge of 500 of their number, whom he conducted safely to the new country about the year 1837 and ’38. During his lifetime Mr. Foreman filled in turn almost every public office but that of chief, but he was especially devoted to religious and educational matters, and was the first superintendent of public schools ever appointed in the Cherokee Nation. After the war Mr. Foreman took charge of the missionary field discontinued by the Presbyterians, and out of his meager and hard earnings erected a church at Park Hill Mission which cost him $800. Not alone did this philanthropic gentleman erect a fine house of worship, but he erected a temple of Christianity in the hearts of the people. His labors unfortunately, however, came to an end on the November 20, 1881. He died at Park Hill, and his dying request was that if the Presbyterian Board desired the field which they had abandoned during the war it should be given to them. The work so well commenced is still being continued, and the remains of the loved and honored missionary, Stephen Foreman, are laid away in the Park Hill Mission graveyard. He left a family of five living children: John A., Austin W., Flora E., Minta R. and Jennie L., now Mrs. C. McClellan.

MLA Source Citation:

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898. Web. 30 January 2015. - Last updated on Jul 28th, 2012


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