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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1788. First Presidential Election. 215

town, and he is hereby dismissed accordingly, by a majority of eighty for and nine against." It was then voted that he "be not allowed to preach in the town's meeting-house any longer," and the sexton was directed to shut the meeting-house door against him as a preacher. Provision was made at this meeting for paying Mr. Foster the balance of salary due him.

   Thus ended the unfortunate connection of the first settled minister with the town. Its relief was manifested by the appointment of Daniel Cony, Benjamin Pettingill and Jason Livermore "to communicate the thanks of the town to the Ecclesiastical Council, whereof the Rev. Thomas Brown was moderator, and inform them that the town of Hallowell entertain a venerable opinion of the conduct of said council, the conspicuous candor and impartiality manifested by them, both in the hearing and decision of the subject respecting this town and the Rev. Isaac Foster," and that the same "met the cordial approbation of the town."

   The Sunday following this action "Mr. Ballard and others went to the house of worship, but were not suffered to enter." They then proceeded to Mr. Foster's house, where learning that he "had liberty of Mr. Thwing to preach in his house" they followed him there and heard his sermon.1

   Some of Mr. Foster's friends were desirous of a rehearing of his case by a council, and brought the subject before the town in May of the next year, but the town would not listen to them, although his case was urged by "letters from the ministers of Boston and Judge Sullivan," which were answered by a committee, of which Gen. Lithgow was chairman and reported the form of a letter adopted in answer. The same committee was authorized to submit to reference the amount due Mr. Foster from the town. The referees finally awarded him £112, which the town paid.2

   By the Federal constitution Massachusetts was entitled to eight representatives in Congress, and Maine, by the General Court, was made one congressional district. The first Presidential and Congressional election was held in Hallowell, December 18, at which ninety-wight votes were thrown for electors of president and vice president, of which Daniel Cony had forty-eight, Joseph Thatcher twenty-one, Gen. William Lithgow twenty-six, Stephen Longfellow two, James Carr one. Ninety votes were polled for representative to Congress, seventy-four of which were for George Thatcher

1 Mrs. Ballard's Diary.  2 Ib.