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 293



  1790. June 17. Air. Foster sleeps here. Informs that Esquire Hussey departed this life yesterday, at 7h. p. m. in prison.
  18. Burial of Esquire Hussey.
  19. Mr. Ballard went to the Hook to a meeting of the Proprietors of Unity. Calvin Edson was drowned in this river this night; he attempted to cross it nd it is supposed he fell asleep and fell over board.
  20. We received a letter from Brother Barton of the 13th inst., which informs that my dear sister Debby Davis departed this life the 8th, and was interred the 10th. She has left a husband and seven children to mourn the loss.
  21. Mr. Town and Mrs. Barton went to Judge Boman's office; she took administration on her late husband's estate. Mr. Edson was drowned 21st inst., and taken up this morn.
  22. Mr. Ballard went to Mr. Carr's to a meeting to chuse juriors. Mr. Carr and Mager Goodin chose for Grand jury; Capt. Page and Andrew Goodin for Petty, etc.
  23. Brother Ebenezer's infant deceased this day.
  July 4. Mr. Seth Williams drank tea here.
  5. Capt. Stackpool [of Winslow] here,- informs that Sherebiah Town expired last evening, between 11 and 12 hours; he is to be interred to-morrow; the Capt. allso informed that a Mr. Lues was killed by a limb falling of a tree; that a man at Penobscott hanged himsef and another at Boston shott himself.
  6. I left home early, bound for Pownalboro; Mr. Ballard, allso. We went on board Leut. Pollard's boat; stopt at Pittstown; got to Mr. Hatch's where we took lodgings during the coart's setting. Went into coart, afternoon.
  11. Sunday. At Pownalboro. Went from Mr. Hatche's after meeting to Mr. Kider's at Eastern river.
  13. We came to the coart house. Saw Melone receive the punishment which the coart inflicted at 8 hour morn; then returned to Mr. Hatche's. Paid our reckoning and sett out for home. I wrode Mr. Pollard's horse. We dined at Mager Smith's. Called at Mr. Bullin's and Mr. Jackson's. Arived home near sun sett.
  18. Old Mr. Pitts drank tea here.

  June 17. Obed Hussey lived on the east side of the river nearly opposite Sheppard's point. On April 6, 1789, the town meeting approved of "a road from the river by or near Esquire Hussey's house to the eastward across the intervale to the foot of the hill, till it comes near to Mr. Andrew Goodwin's barn, then eastward to the county road." (Town records, p. 78.)
  June 21. Calvin Edson, who came from Cape Cod in 1781, and last occupied a farm that was afterwards owned by Allen Lambard, in the present fifth ward. Mr. Edson
was the first to introduce twitch or witch grass into the town; he obtained half a bushel of the seed in Massachusetts, and it was thought to be very valuable because of its vitality, -its power to resist frosts. Edson said he had "got something that would not winter kill."
  June 26. Jonathan Bowman, judge of probate for Lincoln county, from 1772 until his death in 1804.
  July 13. Flogged at the whipping post.
  July 18. Seth Pitts, Senior. (See Pitts family.)