Martha Ballard's Story
Chapter 6

Foster haggles with the town

Martha tells us that three days after Foster's dismissal, when Mr. Ballard went to "the house of worship," he and Rev. Foster and others were "not Suferd to Enter." So the group moved on to the house Rev. Foster was renting from Mr. Thwing, and there they listened to Foster preach on Genesis Chapter 3, Verse 8. It is not clear from Martha's diary whether Foster continued to preach from his home, but it is clear that Isaac Foster and his family did not leave town after his dismissal. In March of 1789, Martha wrote, "I was Calld to Revd Fosters to See Isaac, put a Cattaplasm made of honey, flower & the yolk of an Egg, on the Soar." And on April 6 she noted, "mr. Ballard went to Town meeting. I went to Colo Norths. Calld at Revd mr Fosters. Isaac is recoverd of his Soar." But all was not well with the Foster family.

The Rev. Mr. Foster remained in Hallowell for most of 1789, wrangling over the terms of his settlement with the town. Martha's diary shows that the Rev. Foster stopped in at the Ballards' house, or she stopped in at theirs, quite frequently. Take a look at the diary entries for: February 15, March 6, March 9, March 27, April 6, July 2, and August 10.

See the town record to learn about the committee appointed to settle the issue.

A committee was appointed to resolve the dispute with Foster -- including Martha's husband Ephraim and Judge Joseph North (also known as "Colo. North" because of his role in the militia).

In her diary Martha reported several of their meetings: "mr Ballard & the other Gentlemen who are the meeting house Committee mett at Colo Norths to Settle that Business" (Martha's diary December 22, 1788), and "mr Ballard at Colo Norths Settling with the meeting house Committee." (Martha's diary January 10, 1789)

Find out about the last ditch effort by Foster's supporters to open a re-hearing of his case before the church council.

Martha tells us that in June the Fosters were forced to move again: "Revd mr Foster is removd from mr Thwings to the house where Joseph Williams formerly livd."

Four months later, in October of 1789, Martha wrote in her diary that a settlement agreement was finally reached between the Reverend Mr. Foster and the town. Always a careful keeper of accounts, Martha noted the exact amount: "he Should have 112 pounds,10 shillings & Colo Howard as Treasurer has given his note on Demand for the Same, with interest till paid."

Foster's dismissal is debated
Foster's position was increasingly insecure.

Table of Contents

The Holy Bible, King James version
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 Title page     Genesis 3 



Genesis 3


[Annotations and cross-references ommitted]
Man's fall. CHAP. III, He is cast out of paradise.

  25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.


  1. The serpent deceiveth Eve. 6 Man's fall. 9 God arraigneth them. 14 The serpent is cursed, and his overthrow by the seed of the woman foretold. 16 The punishment of mankind. 21 Their first clothing. 22 Their expulsion out of paradise.

NOW the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
  2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
  3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
  4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
  5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
  6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
  7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
  8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
  9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
  10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
  11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
  12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
  13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
  14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou


art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
  15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
  16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
  17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
  18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
  19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
  20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
  21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
  22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
  23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
  24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.


  1. The birth, occupation, and religious behaviour of Cain and Abel. 8 The murder of Abel, and the arraignment, and curse of Cain for it. 17 Enoch born; the first city built; the generations of Cain. 19 Lamech and his two wives. 25 The birth of Seth and Enos.

AND Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
  2 And she again bare his brother Abel.