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

Henry Sewall's Diary
Sewall, Henry
1776 - 1842
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June 1 through June 12, 1788


  June, 1788.         Hallowell.
Sunday 1. Met at my house.
Monday 2. Wrote Mr. Bridge by T. Sewall. Worked on the highways.
Tuesday 3. Worked the forenoon on the highways
Wedsday 4. Rode to Pownalborough to Court. Took lodging at Mr. Ramsdel's.
Thursday 5. Waiting to hear the cause, Walker against Foster.
Friday 6. Mr. Foster's action of defamation against me, was continued, by consent to Hallowell term, & no costs to be taxed to either party at Waldoborough term.
Saturday 7. The cause Walker vs. Foster came on in the morning. I turned & heard the opening by Mr. J. Gardner & the evidence. After dinner I returned home. Expenses 12/.
Sunday 8. Heard that the Jury gave their verdict in favor of Mr. Foster. Walker appealed. Met at my house -- Had a full meeting in the afternoon -- Mr. Foster not having returned.
Monday 9.  
Tuesday 10.  
Wedsday 11. Went to Capt. H. Smith's with a raft of pine Timber, & returned by land.
Thursday 12. Walked to our mill in Vassalborough & returned.