Born in Kaskaskia, Illinois, Fouke attended the public schools and became a civil engineer. He established and published the Belleville Advocate in 1841. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1845 and commenced practice in Belleville. He served as prosecuting attorney for the Kaskaskia district (second circuit) 1846-1850. He served as member of the State house of representatives in 1851. He unsuccessfully contested the election of Lyman Trumbull to the Thirty-fourth Congress.