in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1648, John Foster developed
a reputation among his contemporaries and later historians
as a man of many talents. An "ingenious mathematician"
and schoolmaster, Foster also became the first printer in
Boston and the first engraver in New England. He graduated
from Harvard in 1667 and, for a time, returned to Dorchester
to teach school. On Christmas Day, 1674, just another working
day in Puritan Boston, Foster purchased a printing press,
which he moved to Boston and set up at the "Sign of the
Dove." Foster's printing career was influential but brief.
He died of consumption in 1681, at the age of 33.
his own day, Foster was memorialized in verse in two funeral
elegies printed in Boston. One elegy, by Thomas Tileston,
describes Foster's life and education and then continues:
Adde to these things I have been hinting
His skill in that rare ART OF PRINTING
His accurate Geography
And Astronomick Poetry;
And you would say 'twere pitty He
Should dy without an Elegie