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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July 5 through July 14, 1788


  July 1788.        Hallowell.
Saturday  5. Leased my house & appurtenances to Gen.l Lithgow and D. Colman for one year to commence the first of October next -- for fifteen pounds, they to pay the taxes.
Sunday    6. Met at my house.
Monday   7. Two very copious showers of rain in the afternoon.
Tuesday   8. Mr. Jos. Foster's wife died last night, of a consumption.
Wedsday  9. ______Mrs. Foster buried. Attended the funeral by desire.
Thursday 10. Rode up to Vassalborough to get some Board, of Dudley Doc. They were not ready.

.Friday    11.

Rode to Pownalborough -- Settled with Mr. Silvester, & paid him for [imposs] &
  Excise, 37.17.2. -- Heard the trial & condemnation of one O'Neal for murderding one Clancy.
Saturday  12.. Wrote my parents & Esq. Pike. Heard the cause between L. Walker & M. Foster tried.            
. .The jury found their verdict for Walker.        Returned in the evening.
Sunday    13. Mr. Abraham Cummings preached at my house. A crowded audience.
Monday   14. Fixing for my voyage to Boston.