Martha Ballard's Story
Chapter 16

Martha's entries on Rev. Foster appear in a 1904 town history

About one third of Martha's diary appeared in the history of Augusta by Charles Nash, which was printed in 1904, but sat in crates in an old barn, unbound, until 1961. This excerpt shows how Nash cut out the more shocking details Martha recorded. Martha's October 1, 1789 entry about Rebecca Foster swearing a rape against Judge North ("Shocking Indeed.") is included but Judge North's name is blanked out. The longest entry in her diary from December 23, 1789, where she describes what Rebecca Foster told her, has been totally cut. And Martha's account of the 1790 trial in Pownalboro has been whittled down to just the July 6 entry which mentions her trip getting to Pownalboro. Her assesment of the trial and the court's verdict on July 12 do not appear. In his diary abridgement, Nash included Martha's entries on Isaac Foster's controversy with the town. But Martha's description of the North rape trial was totally omitted.

The official history of Augusta, written by Judge North's grandson, also fails to mention the rape trial.

The verdict of the Supreme Judicial Court
What happened to Isaac and Rebecca Foster after the rape trial? Does Martha's diary give us clues?

Table of Contents

The History of Augusta
Nash, Charles Elventon
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 Title page     Page 285 


Page 285



  1789. October 1. We had company this afternoon. Mrs. Hannah North, Mrs. Chever, and a Mrs. Weston from Cohors, Mr. Savage, here. Informs that Mrs. Foster has sworn a rape on a number of men, among whome is ---- Shocking, indeed.
  2. I was called at the 4th h. morn, to Mrs. Goff, who is in travail. I walkt to Davis, store; crost the river and went by land on horseback. Arived at the 6th h. Old Mrs. Goff returned from Boston at 1h. p. in. I tarried there this night.
  3. Mrs. Goff's illness increast, and shee was safe delivered at 11h. and 30 m. morn, of a daughter. Her marm, Mrs. Bullen, Mrs. Ney, were my asistants. I returned home at 6, afternoon. Find Mr. Ballard returned from his tower of surveying yesterday.
  4. Josh Sinclair brot us a barrel of herrin, smokt.
  5. I am informed there was a man drowned in Jones' Eddy who came passenger from Boston with Capt. Howard.
  6. Thee sweap of one of the mills got off the crank, so neither of them was tended this night.
  7. Mitty Devenport dined. Joshua Sinclare and Mr. Richardson drank tea. It is 12 years since I left Oxford.
  8. I was called at the 8th h. morn, to Mr. Daw's at the Hook, to his wife in travail. The regiment of troop convened there on Mr. Shuball Hinkley's land.
  9. Mrs. Daw was safe delivered at the 6th hour this morn of a fine son, which weighed 11 lbs. Mrs. Daw is the 32d woman I have putt to bed since Feb'y 5th.
  10. The Rev'd Mr. Isaac Foster removed to Vassalboro this day. Mr. Ballard is gone to the Hook. At Mr. Densmore's. Mr. Hatch went from here.
  11. This day is the aneversary of the ordination of the Rev'd Isaac Foster over the church and flock in this town three years since.
  12. I was called about 12 o'clock, morn, to John Cuming's. Arived at 2; found his wife safe delivered of a son, which weighed 11 lbs, - the 5th son and 7th child. Esquire Coney took breakfast here. I am informed that a woman of Winthrop fell in the fire and burned her to such a degree that shee soon expired; and at Hallowell a girl on the night of the 8th inst. fell in to the fire, also, and her life is not expected. On the morning of the 8th inst. Daniel Savage's Junior oldest son was scolt very much.
  13. I was called at the 8th hour, morn, to Mrs. Stone. Shee was safe delivered at 5 p. m. of a daughter. This is her 2d child; the child weighed 3-4 lbs.

  October 7. Submit Davenport, then twenty years of age, was a daughter of Jonathan and Susanna (White) Davenport, who lived on the opposite side of the river from the Ballard family.
  October 8. (1) William Dorr (1757- 1840) ; his first house stood on what is

known as Sheppard's Point. The son mentioned by the Diarist was Joseph, who was an elder brother of John Dorr (1799-1882) of Augusta. (See Dorr family). (2) Afterwards called Hinkley's plains, and now composing the most of the territory of the Hallowell cemetery.