Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Lucius Harwood Foote

Ohio & California

"Foote, Lucius Harwood (April 10, 1826-June 4, 1913), lawyer and diplomat, born in Winfield, N.Y., spent part of his boyhood in northeastern Ohio, where his father served as a Congregational minister. He also attended Western Reserve University, but did not graduate. In 1853 he went to California, read law, practiced in Sacramento, and then entered the diplomatic service. He was the first American minister to Korea. After his retirement in 1885 he lived in San Francisco."

[William Coyle (ed.), Ohio Authors and Their Books: Biographical Data and Selective Bibliographies for Ohio Authors, Native and Resident, 1796-1950 219 (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., for the Ohioana Library Association, 1962)] [Biographical sketch used with the permission of the Ohioana Library Association]

"General Foote was born in Winfield, N.Y., April 10, 1826, his father being the Rev. Lucius Foote.

In 1849 the California gold fever gripped him and he soon started across the plains, reaching this State [California] in 1853. In 1856 he was admitted to the bar, and in the same year became municipal judge of Sacramento, serving until 1860, in which year he was appointed collector of the port for Sacramento.

He held the collectorship until 1865, and in 1972 Governor Newton Booth appointed him Adjutant-General of California, in which office he served until 1876. In the later year he was a delegate from California to the Republican national convention which named General Hayes for President.

In 1878 he was sent as consul to Valparaiso, Chile. In 1882 he was sent on a special diplomatic mission to Central America.

His work as a diplomatist, so impressed the authorities at Washington that [he] was sent as the first United States minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary to Korea, the Hermit Kingdom, when it was opened to civilization.

In 1884 he returned to California, residing in San Francisco ever since. In 1829 he was elected secetary of the California Academy of Sciences . . . .

In 1873 he joined the Bohemian Club, and at his death was the oldest member of that organization in point of years and the fourth oldest in date of membership. He had declined the club presidency.

He was widely known as a poet. . . . " [Obituary, June 5, 1913, presumably, the San Francisco Examiner] [copied from the text laid-in On The Heights: A Volume of Verse (East Aurora, New York: Roycroft Printing Shop, 1897) (held by the University of California)] [online text]


["On the Heights"] ["Poetry"] ["Don Juan"] ["El Vaquero"] ["The Derelict"]


Lucius Harwood Foote, A Red-Letter Day, and Other Poems (Boston: A. Williams and Co., 1882) [online text]

__________________, On The Heights: A Volume of Verse (East Aurora, New York: Roycroft Printing Shop, 1897) [online text] (Roycroft Printing Shop, 1907)

__________________, The Wooing of the Rose, and Other Poems (New York: Platt & Peck Co. 1911) [online text]


Theodore Henry Hittell, Memorial in Remembrance of General Lucius Harwood Foote (San Francisco: [s.n.], 1913)(California Academy of Sciences)

[Photo of Foote's On the Heights used by permission
The Antiquarian Shop, Bend, Oregon]