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 174 (May 4, 1789 meeting)


. Voted to Dismiss this 11th article in the Warrant.
  Attest Joseph North Town Clerk.
  At a Legal meeting of the Inhabitants of the Town of Hallowell held agreeable to notification on Monday the 4th Day of May, A.D. 1789.

Voted and choose Daniel Cony Esqr. Moderator.

2d Voted and choose Joseph North Esq Agent for, to appear for the inhabitants of this town.
3d Voted that if any of the Collectors of taxes in this town, who having bills committed to him or them, not applying to the assessors for abatments of any of the taxes assessed on the Inhabitants in said Bill or Bills, within twelve months from the time of committing the Bill or Bills to the Collector or Collectors, shall be barred from any abatements.
4th Voted to rase thirty Pounds, and pay the same to to the Revd.Isaac Foster, on the first day of October next, it being the residue of the settlement money, the Inhabitants agreed to pay said Foster, which sum is part of fifty pounds, which was to be paid yearly, in sums of Ten Pounds Pr. year after his ordination.
5th This art. voted to be dismissed.
  Then this meeting was dissolved,
  Attest Joseph North Town Clerk