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 214

214 Ecclesiastical Council.-Advice of Council. 1788

New Casco, and Mr. Winship and his church of Woolwich" in place of his brothers. The council was to convene the third Tuesday of November, and Deacon Cony in behalf of the town was to sign the letters missive. Jason Livermore, Ephraim Ballard and Samuel Cummings were a committee "to provide for the entertainment of the council."1

   The council met November 21, at the meeting-house,2 and after a patient investigation "advised the dismission of Mr. Foster from his ministerial office." We find no record of the charges against him, or of the decision of the council, but the proceedings of a town meeting held December 18th, partly to see "if the town will grant Mr. Foster a dismission if he asks it according to the advice of the council," recognizes their action and the conclusion to which they came.

   At this meeting Nathan Weston, Samuel Cony and James Page were appointed a committee " to wait upon Mr. Foster to see if he will ask a dismission agreeable to the advice of the council," after which an adjournment was had for half an hour, when the committee communicated Mr. Foster's answer in writing, to the effect that he would "not ask a dismission upon the result of council," but as he had long been desirous that the connection should be dissolved he would abide by his former offer, and if the town were not willing to accept that, he invited a proposal from them.

   The town being armed with the decision of the council in its favor determined to take decisive action in the case, and rejected Mr. Foster's offer by a vote of seventy-four to seven. The proceedings and judgment of the Ecclesiastical Council were then read, and a lengthy vote passed, reciting; "that whereas the Rev. Isaac Foster both by his principles and old behavior has given just grounds in the opinion of this town for uneasiness and complaint against him, especially when viewed and considered as a public teacher, the subject matter whereof has recently been mutually submitted to a learned judicious council, who upon a tedious and painful investigation of the subject of complaint and the allegations laid before them, have adopted and recommended the dismission of Mr. Foster from his pastoral office in this town" * * * "The town of Hallowell, in legal town meeting assembled, do therefore," * * * "grant him, the said Rev. Isaac Foster, a dismission from his pastoral office or as a public teacher in this

1 Town Records.  2 Mrs. Ballard's Diary.