Martha Ballard's Story
Chapter 3

Martha attends the slander trial

We can see from Martha's diary entries for January 25 and 29,1787 that Martha attended the trial of Captain Henry Sewall and his cousin Thomas Sewall. The presiding judge who sided with Foster, finding the Sewalls guilty of slander, was none other than Judge Joseph North.

What did Henry Sewall say about Judge North's verdict?

Note that Martha went immediately after court was over to visit Rebecca Foster. The Fosters were now near neighbors, having recently moved out of a house they'd rented from Henry's cousin, Thomas Sewall, into Mr. Pollard's "old house" near the Ballards. On Christmas Day of 1786, Martha wrote, "mr Ballard Carried a Load of wood to mr Pollards old hous for Revd mr Foster. I made me four night Caps," and two days later, "mr Ballard carried a Load of wood to Revd mr Foster, who remoovd from mr sewalls this Day."

Martha likes Foster's sermons
It seems that Martha and Ephraim were quite fond of the young couple next door.

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Martha Ballard's Diary

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December 27, 1786 (Wednesday)

27 4


Clear & pleast. I have been at home Knitting. Parthena Barton here. mr Ballard Carried a Load of wood to Revd mr Foster, he remoovd from mr Sewalls this Day