Martha Ballard's Story
Chapter 8

Martha is "at Mrs Fosters" in August of 1789

In the midst of all the turmoil in the Fosters' lives, these two diary entries from August of 1789 seem calm and mundane. There's nothing here to draw one's attention at first. But look again. There is one subtle clue here.

Martha Ballard always used men's names when identifying houses, a practice which made sense in a world where houses legally belonged to men. But in these two entries for August 19 and August 25, instead of her usual "at the Revd mr fosters," Martha wrote "at mrs Fosters".

Why did she do this? Because the Rev. Mr. Foster was actually out of town in August of 1789 -- probably looking for another job.

What do the official documents tell us about this?

Fosters creditors line up to collect
It wasn't until months later that Martha recorded the frightening story Rebecca Foster told her on August 19 and August 25.

Table of Contents

Martha Ballard's Diary

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August 19, 1789 (Wednesday)

Diary entry for Aug. 19, 1789. View Text (link at top) to see text version.

August 25, 1789 (Tuesday)

Diary entry for Aug. 25, 1789. View Text (link at top) to see text version.