The Official Story
The Foster story in the official town history
The official town history written by Joseph North's grandson includes more than ten pages dealing with the story of Isaac Foster and his ill-fated time in Hallowell. You will see that James North describes the details of the wrangles between Foster and the town and the dismissal of the young minister. Then he concludes, "Thus ended the unfortunate connection of the first settled minister with the town."
But what about the rape case?
James North does not even mention Rebecca Foster and the charges she brought against Judge Joseph North.
Table of Contents
Isaac Foster. -- First Settled Minister
horse stealing and one for counterfeiting. The lashes were laid on the
naked back. Amos Partridge the jailor stood by with a drawn sword, and
Johnson his deputy applied the lashes.1
July 10th Mr. Ballard, his son Jonathan, and one of
the Cowens who was at work for him went to the raising of a meetinghouse
in Winthrop, and it is recorded that "the business was performed
with safety."2 This was the house occupied by the Congregational
Society for forty years to 1825.
The names of the Rev. Seth Noble
and Rev. William Hazlitt were presented to the town at the meeting April1st,
as candidates for "settlement in the work of the ministry," and were
both rejected. The town voted to pay the former £9 for the six Sundays
he had preached, and the latter seventy dollars for "fourteen day's
preaching including Thanksgiving," as already noticed.
Rev. Isaac Foster of Hartford, Conn., "a young
candidate" for settlement arrived in Hallowell April 13th, and the next
Sunday preached in the meeting-house "by desire of the committee," who
during the succeeding week invited him to preach the three following Sundays.
Having complied with this request, he officiated with so much satisfaction
that a town meeting was called for the 8th of May, to see if the town
would invite him to settle and provide for his "salary and settlement."
Upon assembling a motion was submitted to "invite him to settle in this
town in the work of the ministry," which was taken by "polling the house,"
when fifty-seven were arrayed in favor of the motion and four against
A large committee was now raised consisting of James
Howard, Benjamin Pettingill, Samuel Cony, Noah Woodward, Jonathan Davenport,
Jeremiah Ingraham, Samuel Badcock, Enoch Page, Simon Dearborn, Henry Sewall,
Nathan Weston, Daniel Savage, James Page, Ezekiel Page and Daniel Cony
to report what stipulations should be made with Mr. Foster for "his support
and maintenance." The committee, after the meeting had taken a half hour's
recess, reported that the town should "pay £100 lawful money annually"
as a salary, on condition that Mr. Foster "shall formally and regularly
receive ordination;" and that should be his salary as long as he "continues
to be the town's minister and public teacher." To this they added "£50
settlement." The report was accepted, and £10 a year added to the
settlement for the first five years.
1 Elihu Gould, seventy-nine
years old in 1860. 2
Mrs. Ballard's Diary