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Sarah Ann Charlotte Murphy Foster

Daughter of Jeremiah Burns Murphy and Levinah W. Jackson, Sarah was born 04 Nov 1826 in Union County, SC

Sarah Murphy Foster was one of the five young women who joined the Forlorn Hope snowshoe party, leaving her son behind. She and her husband never saw him again.      

Peter H. Burnett met Sarah two years later in Marysville and listened to her talk about the Donner Party:

"Mrs. Foster was then about twenty-three years old. She had a fair education, and possessed the finest narrative powers. I never met with any one, not even excepting Robert Newell of Oregon, who could narrate events as well as she. She was not only more accurate and full in her narrative, but a better talker, than Newell. For hour after hour, I would listen in silence to her sad narrative. Her husband was then in good circumstances, and they had no worldly matter to give them pain but their recollections of the past."

Peter H. Burnett

Sarah married on 29 Dec 1842 in Clark Co., MO, to William McFadden Foster. They had 7 children together:
Jeremiah George, Alice E., Georgiana C., William Budd, Minnesota “Minnie,” Harriet “Hattie,” Frances S.

After her husband’s death in 1874 Sarah stayed for a time with her brother William in Marysville but later moved to Mendocino County, where she lived for many years. She died in San Francisco on December 20, 1906 and was buried at Fort Bragg. 

[With gratitude to Kristin Johnson for the historical summary above re-posted from her New Light on the Donner Party website]

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