The Official Story
Chapter 7

Foster's creditors line up to collect

The court records suggest that Foster's creditors attempted to retrieve what he owed them.

In the Lincoln County Court records for 1788, there are records of a Boston merchant attempting to collect a sizeable debt from Foster. Henry Sewall kept tabs on the case in his diary. He records his correspondence with the Boston merchant's attorney, his attendance at the trial in Pownalborough, and his attendance at the appeal, which Foster lost. (Notice that Henry Sewall was in Pownalborough for other reasons, too. His defamation case with Foster was still brewing.)

Looking through the town's property deeds, we find records showing Isaac Foster sold some unimproved property in 1790 for 60 pounds. He'd acquired the same property a couple of years earlier for 200 pounds, but the town treasurer held a mortgage on the property. It seems Foster was being forced to hand over the land because he was unable to raise the funds required to pay off a 30 pound debt.

Martha's diary entries suggest that the local townsfolk were lining up to make their claims against Isaac Foster.

Foster haggles with the town
The evidence suggests that Foster began looking for another job.

Table of Contents

Land deeds of Rev. Foster
Lincoln County Courthouse
August 2, 1790
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August 2, 1790 Page 67


  hold and enjoy the same forever excepting any Demand arising thereon by virtue of the abovesaid Mortgage. And that I my Heirs and Executors and Administrators will warrant the same to him accordingly. In witness whereof he the s.d Foster has hereunto set his hand and seal the second day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety. And Rebecca the wife of the said Isaac as a relinquishment of her dower in the premises hath hereunto set her hand & seal the day and year abovesaid. Provided nevertheless and the aforegoing Deed is on this express Condition that whereas the said Daniel Shute some Time in the Month of March last past -- signed a Note to SarahDerby late of said Hingham deceased for the sum of thirty Pounds lawful money being the proper Debt of the said Foster and the said Foster as Security to the said Shute put into his possession a Note of hand given by William Howard Treasurer of the Town of Hollowell for the Sum of one hundred and twelve Pounds ten Shillings -- whereon Sundry payments had been made -- which Note was dated the thirtieth of October last now if the said Foster shall well and truly pay the said Shute the said Sum of thirty pounds with Interest from the thirteenth day of March last with Interest untill paid or if the said Shute -- shall within eight months recover that Sum of the said Howard with Interest as aforesaid then the aforegoing Deed is to be null and void otherwise to remain in full force and virtue. Isaac Foster and a Seal. Rebecca Foster and a Seal.