FORSTER, Thomas
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FORSTER, THOMAS, son of John Forster, was born May 16, 1762, in Paxtang township, Lancaster, now Dauphin county, PA; died June 29, 1836, at Erie, PA. He received a good education, and was brought up as a surveyor. In the Revolutionary struggle he was a private in Capt. John Reed’s company in the summer of 1776, in active service during the Jersey campaign of that year. In 1794, during the so-called Whiskey Insurrection, he served as colonel of one of the volunteer regiments on that expedition. He was one of the associate judges of Dauphin, appointed October 26, 1793, by Governor Mifflin, resigning December 3, 1798, having been elected one of the representatives of the State Legislature that year. At the close of 1799 or early in 1800, as the agent of the Harrisburg and Presqu’ Isle Land Company, he permanently removed to Erie. In the affairs incident to the early settlement of that town and the organization of that county, he took a prominent part. He was one of the first street commissioners of the town, president of the Erie and Waterford Turnpike Company, one of the directors of the first library company and its librarian, and captain of the first military company formed at Erie, and which in 1812 was in service at Buffalo, Captain Forster being promoted brigade inspector. In 1823 he was appointed by Governor Shulze one of the commissioners to explore the route for the Erie extension of the Pennsylvania canal, and in 1827 was chairman of the meeting organizing St. Paul’s Episcopal church. In 1799 he was appointed by President Adams collector of the port at Erie, and successively commissioned by Presents Jefferson, Madison, J.Q. Adams and Jackson, filling the office until his death. Colonel Forster married, October 5, 1786, Sarah Pettit Montgomery, born July, 1766, at Georgetown, Kent county, Md.; died July 27, 1808, at Erie, Pa.; daughter of Rev. Joseph Montgomery and Elizabeth Reed.