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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 Grantee Index D-G     Oct 15, 1788 Page 139 (back)   Oct 15, 1788 Page 140 


October 15, 1788 Page 140


by the said Road about thirty four Poles thence East Southeast three hundred and twenty Poles to Kennebeck River thence Northerly up said River to the first mentioned Bounds and contains about sixty eight Acres more or less in being the Northerly Part of Lot Number four on a Plan made by Nathan Winslow Surveyor dated June seventeenth in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty one reference threto being had. -- To have and to hold the same to the said Isaac Foster his Heirs and Assigns to his and their Use and Behoof forever. -- And I do covenant with the said Isaac Foster his Heirs and Assigns that I am lawfully seized in Fee of the Premises that they are free of all Incumbrances that I have good Right to sell and convey the same to the said Foster and that I will warrant and defend the same to the said Foster his Heirs and Assigns forever against the lawful Claims and demands of all Persons. And I Susanna Cowen Wife of said Ephraim Cowen in testimony of my consent and relinquishment of my thirds and right of Dower have hereunto set my hand and Seal this twenty fifth Day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven. Eph.m Cowen and a Seal. Susanna Cowen and a Seal. Signed sealed and delivered in presence of us Will.m Howard Nathaniel Floyd. -- Lincoln Ss October 15. 1788 -- Then the within named Ephraim Cowen appeared and acknowledged the within Instrument to be his Act and Deed. Before one Joseph North Just. peace--

Rec. July 10 1788 and entered & examined

by Tho.s Rice Reg.r

140 --

Know all Men by these presents that I James Cowen of Hollowell in the County of Lincoln and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Bay in New-

Ja. Cowen
Isaac Cowen