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
|| United States Constitution Adopted.
the four persons commissioned as Judges of the Court of Common Pleas.
Judge Howard died in the following May, and Joseph North was appointed
and commissioned in his place. At this time no lawyer resided on the river
above Pownalborough. In the following year William Lithgow, Jr., removed
to town and opened an office in Fort Western. The first term of the Court
of Sessions at Hallowell was held, on the second Tuesday of March of this
year, in Col. North's dwelling house.1
A town meeting was held November 27th "to choose a delegate
to give assent to and ratify the constitution for the United States,"
at which the constitution and accompanying resolves were read, "also
the arguments of several writers for and against the constitution." Capt.
James Carr was then chosen delegate.2 The convention assembled
in Boston the following January, and on the 9th of February a vote adopting
the constitution was taken by yeas and nays, resulting in one hundred
and eighty-seven yeas and one hundred and sixty-eight nays. The delegation
from Maine stood twenty-five yeas to twenty-one nays, and Lincoln county
nine yeas to seven nays. The question of adopting the constitution divided
the people in Maine and Massachusetts into nearly equal parties. Those
in favor of the constitution were called Federalists, and its opponents
Anti Federalists, which division continued for several years until
amendments of the constitution conciliated its opponents, and sympathy
with the French, then in revolution, created new parties, based, however,
upon the foundations of the old.
The opposition to Rev. Isaac Foster which made its appearance
at the time of his ordination had increased and strengthened. Meetings
were regularly held on the Sabbath at Benjamin Pettingill's or Henry Sewall's
house, which were occasionally attended by clergymen from a distance.
The difficulty was aggravated and the opposition increased by the institution
of legal proceedings which grew out of the indiscretion of the parties.
Capt. Sewall had been provoked to the utterance of a charge "that Mr.
Foster was a liar and lie could prove it." Thomas Sewall was in some way
connected with the charge. They were both summoned in January before Justice
North, on a complaint to answer to the State. Capt. Sewall records
that he "did not pretend to deny" the charge, but offered evidence of
its truth in justification.
2 He had 62 votes,
Brown Emerson 18, and Capt. H. Sewall 3.