John Watson Foster


Honorary Degree (1905)
Doctor of Laws
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: William Lowe Bryan


Valedictorian of the Indiana University Class of 1855, John Watson Foster was an American politician, diplomat, and United States Secretary of State under President Benjamin Harrison where he worked toward the annexation of Hawaii. Later, he served as an influential advisor to the Chinese during the Sino-Japanese war of 1894--95. He was responsible for drafting the Treaty of Shimonoseki which ended the war, ceded Taiwan and other territories to Japan, and brought formal Chinese recognition of Korea's independence. He was also a minister to Mexico, Russia, and Spain.