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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Page 287



Howard, and Samuel Shaw acrost the river; then rode to Esqr. Petengail's. Mrs. Parmer safe delivered about 12 of a fine daughter, and is cleverly, except the cold which prevails universally.
  1789. December 8. I received butter of Esqr. Petengail's lady for pills shee had of me. David Pattee's wife departed this life the 4th inst. in child bed. Shee left 12 children to mourn the loss.

  10. Birth of Samuel Pierce's son.
  11. Rev'd Mr. Foster called here; says his family are unwell.
  15. Mr. Ballard left home bound for Norridgewock. I have been at home. The ice stopt by Fort Western. People crost from this crick by water.
  16. People crost the river on a cake of ice which swang round from the Eddy, east side and stopt at the point below Mr. Weston's.
  17. The river is open against our field. E. Davis crost with a horse by confineing two cannoes together.
  18. Mr. Ballard returned from Canaan.
  19. Mr. Hamlen here, seting glass. Levy and Reuben Moore here to purchase timber.
  21. Dolly set her web to work; it was drawn too narrow in the harness. Shee cutt it out, drew it in again, and wove.
  22. The ice moved at the fort.
  25. The ground covered with snow about two inches deep.

  28. Capt. Weston of Canaan came here to help Mr. Ballard plan.
  29. Mr. Ballard and Capt. Weston went to Esquire Coney's this morn.
  30. I was called at about 1 h. morn, to see Mrs. Brooks who was in travail. I rode to Mr. Pollard's landing; Mr. Ballard acompanied me and took the horse back. I walkt from there to Mr. Brooks'; was much fatagued; found his lady in a deplorable situation, but by the blessing of providence I put her safe to bed at the 3d h. the living mother of a fine daughter. I came home by Capt. Hersey's. Walkt acrost the river and got home safe. Left Mrs. Vose there as nurs.
  31. Births in Hallowell, in the years, 1785. Males, 17; females, 22. 1786. Males, 24; females, 25. 1787. Males, 20; females, 28. 1788. Males, 17; females, 25. 1789. Males, 27; females, 27. Total 232.
  31. Deaths in Hallowell in the years, 1785. Males, 4; females, 6. 1786. Males, 4; females, 5. 1787. Males, 9; females, 7. 1782. Males, 7; females, 5. 1789. Males, 3; females, 6. Total. 56.
  31. [1789]. I have put 14 women to bed with sons and 24 with daughters. In 1790 were males born in Hallowell, 23; females, 19. Deaths, males, 10; females, 5. [1790] I have extracted 34 children in this and other towns, of which 20 were males, females, 14
December 18. Now Skowhegan.
December 28. Samuel Weston (1757-1802), a son of Joseph Weston who was a pioneer settler on that part of the original territory of Canaan which is now in Skowhegan; he was a farmer and trader and
land surveyor and a forceful and locally prominent man; one of his daughters married Joseph Baker, Senior, and was the mother of Henry Knox Baker (1806-1902), of Hallowell, and Joseph Baker (1812-1883) of Augusta.