The Official Story
Chapter 6

Foster haggles with the town

For most of the following year, Foster remained in town, haggling over the terms of his dismissal. A committee was appointed by the town to settle the issue. (Note that Judge North and Ephraim Ballard were both on the committee - in item #5, p. 173.) It seems, however, that this committee was unable to resolve Foster's settlement.

Did Martha keep track of the town's financial wrangling with Foster?

Ten months after Foster's dismissal, a group of Foster's friends proposed the town re-hear his case. Looking at the agenda for the town meeting in early October 1789 (item #2), we can see that the town refused to re-open the case. In the same meeting (items #3 & 4), the town appointed another committee to handle the "demands relative to the civil contract between the town and the said Mr. Foster." This committee included Henry Sewall. He and the others were empowered to consider Foster's request and "the letters from the ministers of Boston and Judge Sullivan." The letters, unfortunately, haven't survived.

The business at hand was clearly pressing. The meeting adjourned, and those present agreed to meet again six days later. At that point, the town accepted the report of the committee, and then appointed another committee to "carry the report into Execution." Those present on October 12 agreed to meet again several weeks later, when the financial terms of the settlement were finally agreed upon. The minutes of the meeting, however, don't tell us what the terms were.

Martha, a meticulous accounts keeper, did record the amount finally paid to the Rev. Mr. Foster.

We do, however, find the town meeting voting the following April to "raise 150 pounds" for the purpose of satisfying the obligation given to Mr. Isaac Foster, and for defraying other necessary Town charges."

Foster is dismissed
Meanwhile, however, Isaac Foster's debts were mounting...

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Hallowell Town Records (Original)
Town of Hallowell Officials
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 172 (May 4, 1789 mtg)   173 (May 4, 1789 mtg)   174 (May 4, 1789 mtg) 


folio 173 (May 4, 1789 meeting)

At the adjournment of the annual meeting, present the freeholders and other inhabitants, qualified to vote in Town affairs,
May 4 1789. -- Daniel Cony Esq. Moderator
3d Voted & chose the following Town officers.
James Hinkely & Abisha Cowan Tything men.
Nathaniel Hearsey & Simeon Payne, Wardens.
Jeremiah Badcock & Beriah Ingraham. Fish Committee
Voted to excuse Charles Vaughan Esq. as a Surveyor of highways, & chose Maj Lazaru Goodwin in his Room.

to Dismiss Jeremiah Hall as a Surveyor of Highwayes & chose maj. Samuel Dutton in his room.

4th Dismissed
5th Voted and choos a Committ to look out a lot for a Miniseril lot.
Joseph North Esq. } A Committee for that purpose
James Page
Ephm. Ballard
6th Voted to dismiss the 6th act in the Warrant, also the 7 and 8 act.
9th Voted to accept the Rode from the North East Corner of James Page's land to the southerly line of Major Samuel Dutton's farm, agreeable to the minutes of the Selectmen, which are as Follows beginning at the road that leads from the meeting-house to Benjamin Follets at or near the North East corner of James Page land then to run northerly by market trees on the easterly side of the road, and to go in general in the road where it is cleared out & bridged & now travelled about two miles, 'till it comes to the southesterly line of Maj. Samuel Dutton Farm said road to be four rods wide. Maj. Samuel Dutton and & Mr. James Page agree with the Town, to indemnify theInhabitants of the town of Hallowell from all fines that may arise by said road not being cleared out for one year from the accepting said road --
10th Voted that the Town Treasurer shall give notes to any Persons, who the Town may at any time owe with Interest, the Selectmen Certifying the propriety thereof.