The Official Story
Chapter 4

More suits and countersuits

Henry Sewall appealed to the higher court in Pownalboro. When he was denied a continuance, he finally paid the fine to Foster.

The Sewalls then took Foster to court.

Henry Sewall's diary entries for April 26 and May 1, 1788 show that Henry's cousin Thomas Sewall, who'd rented a house to the Fosters, sued Isaac Foster for back rent. He won the case and collected three shillings plus costs.

Again, the situation escalated. Take a look at Henry Sewall's diary eight days after Thomas Sewall won his case. You can see that Isaac Foster turned around and sued Henry and Thomas Sewall for defamation -- for a second time. This time, Henry paid a Mr. Blake three dollars and two thousand wooden shingles "to procure evidence against Mr. Foster.". Several weeks later, Mr. Blake returned with depositions

What did Martha have to say about these suits?

Foster sues the Sewalls
The Rev. Mr. Foster's relation with the town was steadily deteriorating...

Table of Contents

Henry Sewall's Diary
Sewall, Henry
1776 - 1842
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May 24 through May 31, 1788


  May, 1788         Hallowell.
  to Thomas Rice, Jedediah Jewel and George Thatcher esquires. I concluded to stand on legal ground.
Sunday 25. Met at my house.
Monday 26. Fair weather -- which is very agreeable after a long spell of wet --.
  Selectmen, Constable &c. met at the meetghouse & chose two grand jurors, & drew two petit jurors for the Supreme Court.
Tuesday 27. Sent a list of the Marriages solemnized by Mr. Foster (as his return to me) to Esq. Bowman -- as the law directs -- and 1/8 for his fee for recording the same.
Wedsday 28.  
Thursday 29. Recd. a line from Mr. Bridge. Attorney for Lewis Walder in his action against Mr. Foster concerning a note -- enclosing subpenas to sundry persons in this town. Delivered them.
Friday 30. Mr. Blake returned with the deposition of two of the Committee for procuring preaching in the town of Mendon, respecting Mr. Foster's preaching there.
Saturday 31. One Dr. Emerson came here last night to board.
  John Sewall here.