Lucy Foster

On Saturday, May 11th, 2019, South Church and students from The Academy at Penguin Hall, invited the public to a memorial remembrance for Lucy Foster. Lucy was born into slavery in 1767 in Boston, given to Hannah Foster of Andover at age four, and freed at age 16 when slavery was abolished in Massachusetts. She was a member of South Church for 50 years. Lucy died in 1845 but did not have a headstone. 

The memorial was the culmination of “Out of the Shadows,” an elective class at The Academy, with a goal to identify any former slave women who lived in the area and learn more about them. The students researched Lucy Foster at the suggestion of both Elaine Clements, the executive director of the Andover Historical Society, and Char 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 Lucy. The students’ deep connection to Lucy was visible at the remembrance. A photo slideshow of both the project and Lucy’s artifacts was on display. Guests were able to see some of the artifacts in person on loan from the Peabody Essex Museum.  The students spoke about Lucy as others, including Char Lyons, Rev. Dana Allen Walsh, and Michael Updike participated in the service. The memorial concluded in the cemetery with a headstone dedication.

Lucy Foster in the news…

“The Story of Lucy Foster” NorthShore Magazine

“All invited to remembrance for Andover slave Lucy Foster” Andover Townsman

“Honoring Lucy Foster” Andover Townsman

“Gravestone dedicated to woman who lived in bondage and freedom in Andover” Boston Globe

“Remembering Lucy Foster” The Salem News

“Students erect headstone in memory of freed Andover slave” WCVB5

“More than 150 years after her death, a former slave finally has the memorial she deserved” CNN

Former Slave Buried In Andover Gets Headstone Thanks To Students” WBZ