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 213

1788. Negotiations with Mr. Foster. 213

fast around Mr. Foster that a general dissatisfaction with him appeared at this time to prevail, and a meeting of the town was called for September 9th, "to hear any proposals which the Rev. Isaac Foster shall make respecting a dismission from his ministerial relation and connection with the inhabitants." Daniel Cony was moderator of this meeting, to which Mr. Foster proposed terms upon which he would dissolve the connection, which, however, were not acceptable to the town. The proposal was in writing, signed by Mr. Foster, and according to the record "had two several readings in the meeting," when the question was put whether the town would accept the terms, "and it passed in the negative." Mr. Foster was then invited to attend the meeting by a committee chosen for that purpose, when he appeared and was asked if he had any further proposal to make. In reply he offered to "take £200" and dissolve the connection. The question upon accepting this was put, "and it passed in the negative." The meeting, probably to end the interview, then adjourned for five minutes, when it again assembled and proceeded to the consideration of other business.

   Uneasiness still existed with many in relation to the unsettled state of affairs with the minister, particularly those who paid taxes for his support and could not conscientiously attend his meetings. At the request of a number of the inhabitants a meeting was called October 30th, to see if the town would agree to have the contract with him cancelled, and should they not succeed in this, to see if the town in conjunction with the church would call an ecclesiastical council to hear, judge and advise in all matters of grievances that should be regularly laid before them; and "if no measures are taken to remove the grievances complained of, to see if the town will vote to discharge the disaffected, who cannot conscientiously attend upon Mr. Foster's meetings, from paying any tax for his support."

   Samuel Bullen was chosen moderator, and a committee appointed to treat with Mr. Foster in relation to cancelling his contract. The meeting was adjourned for fifteen minutes to give an opportunity for the conference, when the committee reported that "Mr. Foster had nothing to offer with regard to an agreement, but that he would concur in calling a council if the town and church see fit." To this the town acceded, and proposed the council that ordained Mr. Foster with the exception of his two brothers, which was accepted by Mr. Foster, who "nominated Mr. Williams and his church of

1 Sewall's Diary.