The Official Story
Chapter 16

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.

What did Martha have to say about this?

The verdict of the Supreme Judicial Court
What happened to the Fosters after 1790?

Table of Contents

The History of Augusta
North, James W.
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Page 212

212 Annual Meeting 1788.--Renewed Litigation. 1788.

schools and £15 to procure "gunpowder, leaden balls and flints required by law to be kept in town stock," and a pound was directed to be built "on a knoll near the meeting-house."

   At the election for State officers ninety-four votes were thrown for John Hancock for governor, twenty- three for Elbridge Gerry and one for James Warren. Benjamin Lincoln had for lieutenant governor ninety-four, James Warren forty-four, Samuel Adams twelve, Nathaniel Gorham six, Elbridge Gerry one. For senator Samuel Thompson had sixty, Daniel Cony forty, Dummer Sewall thirty-four, Henry Dearborn one.

   The question of sending a representative to the General Court May 5th, " after considerable debate was determined by polling the house." The vote stood fifty in favor to nineteen opposed. Daniel Cony was then chosen by "a majority of forty-eight votes."

   Mr. Foster, who had lived in Thomas Sewall's house on the east side of the river, removed to Amos Pollard's old house, which was then on the heater between Green and Grove streets, but he had not settled with Sewall, who sued him for rent. The case was tried May 1st before Gen. Lithgow, and "Sewall recovered three shillings debt and three and six pence costs."

   The old matter of defamation between Mr. Foster and Henry and Thomas Sewall broke out anew May 9th, when they were each sued by Mr. Foster in actions for damages, which were laid in the writs at £500. Paul Blake, an inhabitant of the town, was with great promptness dispatched by the Sewalls the next day after the service of the writs to Mendon, where Mr. Foster formerly preached, to procure evidence against him. He returned the thirtieth of the same month "with the depositions of two of the committee for procuring preaching " for that town. These related to "Mr. Foster's preaching there." However, previous to this, on the 24th of May, Thomas Sewall had agreed to submit his case to the determination of Thomas Rice, Jedediah Jewett and George Thatcher, but Capt. Sewall with more resolution "concluded to stand on legal ground,"1 and the action against him was entered at the June term of the court at Pownalborough, and continued by consent to the January term at Hallowell.

   In the meantime Sewall had removed to New York, where he remained a year or so, during which the troubles had gathered so

1 Sewall's Diary.