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Feather Schwartz Foster

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Garfield's Train"Recreates Death of President Garfield
Tuesday, August 30, 2005  1:11:00 PM

by Feather Schwartz Foster

Historical Fiction
Step into the glory days of Long Branch, NJ and the death of the 20th President. Fictional characters interact with the little-known, but infinitely interesting and colorful real-life figures who dominated the political scene of the 1880 Robber Baron Era.

Few people today realize the enormity of the U.S. political scene in the 1880s – those heady days between the Civil War and the start of the 20th Century! Those were the days powered by the “Robber Barons” of Mark Twain’s Gilded Age. And if the era was the Gilded Age, then Long Branch, New Jersey was the “Gilded Strand,” where the wealthy and famous came to enjoy their summers.

Scotch Plains, NJ author Feather Schwartz Foster offers a glimpse of that era of sprawling 30-room “cottages” in her new novel, “Garfield’s Train.” The fictional Dunbar family interacts with such characters as General Grant, Roscoe Conkling, James G. Blaine, and, of course, the Garfield family in the early 1880s.

James A. Garfield was only president for six months – three of which were spent dying. To finally escape the fetid and miserable heat of the Washington summer and offer the dying man some respite, he was brought to Long Branch for his last days. In a burst of patriotism, caring and community spirit, a ¾ mile railroad spur was built overnight for the President to be brought from the train station right to the door of a cottage-by-the-sea without painful jostling in a wagon over a rutted road.

According to the author, “This was arguably Long Branch’s proudest hours, and for some reason, it has become a mere footnote to history. The actual historical records only indicate that it happened – not how it happened. In ‘Garfield’s Train’, I tried to draw the picture in my mind of the entire posh resort and the way the 3,000 residents turned out to support the railroad workers in their labor of love and patriotism.

Feather Schwartz Foster has also written “LADIES: A Conjecture of Personalities” about the First Ladies between Martha Washington and Mamie Eisenhower, and an e-book, entitled “On The Road With The Old Gals,” about her lecturing experiences. She has made more than 100 appearances in the New Jersey area talking about the “old” First Ladies, and has already been engaged for several more about the Garfield era.

Author Feather Schwartz Foster has been an “amateur” presidential historian for three decades. Following a long career in advertising and having written a score of children’s musical shows, she has decided to draw on her thousand-volume personal presidential library and her love of history by penning “LADIES: A Conjecture of Personalities” and “Garfield’s Train”.

“Garfield’s Train” (ISBN: 1-4137-6915-2) is 226-pages, published by PublishAmerica of Frederick, MD, and sells for $19.95. It is available at most online booksellers, directly from the publisher at, or through the author’s webpage at

NOTE TO EDITOR/PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Ms. Foster may be reached for interviews at 908/753-6999, or at

 More News about Feather Schwartz Foster
Author Feather Schwartz Foster Speaks at DeWitt Wallace Museum - 8/4/2011 11:13:00 AM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster Featured on WCVE (PBS) Virginia Currents - 5/20/2011 11:36:00 AM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster to Speak at DeWitt Wallace Museum - 4/26/2011 11:31:00 AM

Feather Schwartz Foster to Launch Latest Book At “The First Ladies Tea Room - 3/16/2011 6:26:00 AM

New Book on First Ladies Relesed - 2/20/2011 8:57:00 AM

Author of “Garfield’s Train” to Speak at Williamsburg Library - 4/14/2010 7:45:00 AM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster to Speak on Julia Tyler at Presidents Park T - 11/22/2009 1:37:00 PM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster to Speak About Dolley Madison atT Presidents - 10/25/2009 10:19:00 AM

Feather Schwartz Foster To Discuss White House Weddings at Presidents Park - 5/8/2009 11:42:00 AM

Feather Schwartz Foster to Discuss the Civil War Divas - 11/3/2007 9:14:00 AM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster to Discuss First Ladies in Westfield, NJ - 9/12/2007 6:29:00 AM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster to Speak on The Wilson Wives - 9/12/2007 6:26:00 AM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster to Discuss New Children's Book in Dunellen - 7/18/2007 7:50:00 AM

Feather Schwartz Foster to Launch New Children’s Book in Scotch Plains, NJ - 4/11/2007 7:09:00 AM


The Margulies Senior Ctr. to Feature Author of “Garfield's Train"  - 1/12/2007 12:07:00 PM

Presidential Journey - 10/3/2006 7:29:00 AM

Feather Schwartz Foster to Discuss First Ladies at Sparta Woman's Club - 9/7/2006 10:02:00 AM

Feather Schwartz Foster to Discuss First Ladies of the 1920s - 5/23/2006 2:08:00 PM

NJ Author Feather Schwartz Foster To Address Seniors About First Ladies - 3/27/2006 7:52:00 AM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster to Discuss First Ladies of Long Branch, NJ - 3/6/2006 7:54:00 AM

Long Branch Library Features "Garfield's Train" Author - 2/17/2006 7:03:00 AM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster Discusses First Ladies at Caldwell College - 11/1/2005 7:54:00 AM

New E-Book Offers Tips On Selling Books Via Lecture - 7/18/2005 8:54:00 AM

Author To Speak About First Lady "Frances Cleveland" at Grover Cleveland Birthday Celebration - 2/24/2005 2:21:00 PM

Long Story Short Writing Site Honors NJ Author Feather Schwartz Foster’s Article On “The Lecture Exp - 1/26/2005 7:24:00 AM

Author Feather Schwartz Foster to be Featured on Rick Adams' "Community Corner" Show - 11/17/2004 6:54:00 AM

Feather Schwartz Foster to Address Kenilworth Historical Society - 8/31/2004 12:49:00 PM

Author To Address Metuchen-Edison Women's Club - 8/21/2004 3:10:00 PM


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