The Official Story
Chapter 14

The Supreme Judicial Court hears the case in Pownalboro

It is impossible to know where Judge North went when he fled after Sessions met in Hallowell. Henry Sewall's letter to his friend George Thatcher stated, "It is said, he is gone to Boston upon business." In any case, we know Judge North did not escape trial.

In July of 1790, the honorable justices of the Supreme Judicial Court sailed upriver from Boston to Pownalboro as they did twice each year, bringing their white wigs and their black silk robes. Although we don't know what Martha Ballard or the Fosters looked like, these four gentlemen all had their portraits painted: Increase Sumner, Francis Dana, Robert Treat Paine, and Nathan Cushing. (Their portraits are housed today in museum and archive collections.)

While the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court sailed upriver, Martha sailed downriver



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There were thirty-nine cases listed on their docket that summer; fewer than half were actually heard.

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