The Official Story
Chapter 17

The Foster epilogue

Very little is known about the lives of Isaac and Rebecca Foster after they left Hallowell. But you can find several interesting clues in the archives. In this 1792 diary entry of the minister Ezra Stiles, written while traveling through Westchester County NY, he reported, "Isaac Foster still at Bedford in the Parsonage House, but don't preach --- drinks a Quart Rum a Day. Wife handsome but mentis inops. Poor. Works for Colonel Sacket. A Devil incarnate -- an abandoned Minister!"

A 19th century history of Westchester County NY reported that Isaac Foster preached for two years in Bedford, New York, before leaving,"as tradition reports, with his name and that of his wife in bad repute."

The next clue appears in "The Eastern Shore Churchman" from 1927. Isaac Foster shows up as the minister of an Episcopal church in Rehoboth, Maryland from 1795 until his death in 1800. And a newspaper abstract from Princess Anne, Maryland tells us that according to Foster family lore, after Isaac's death, Rebecca Foster left for Peru with her youngest son to search for gold.

What did Martha have to say about this?

The Foster story in the official town history
The Conclusion of One Rape. Two Stories.

Read the other version of the story from the beginning

Table of Contents

The History of the Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester, from Its First Settlement to the Present Time
Bolton, Robert
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Page 53


& Delivered the same as his free & Voluntary act & Deed and having Examined the same and finding no material mistake, Erasure or Interlineation Do allow the same to be recorded. 
   The records of the town inform us that the town meeting of 1784 and 5 were held in the meeting house. The judges of the court of common pleas and the supervisors of the county held their meetings May 9th, 1786, in the Presbyterian meeting-house in Bedford, so that we have conclusive proof that this second house of worship was built where it now stands, but which has been vacated by the people for one larger and more commodious, built on the ground owned by the church next to the parsonage.
   In 1785 the Presbyterian Society was incorporated by the name of the Trustees for the Presbyterian Church and Congegration of Bedford, to be governed in Discipline and Worship according to the Directory of the now established Church of Scotland. The first Trustees elected were Zebediah Mills, Israel Lyon and Joseph Owen. These were men, no doubt, who were prominent in erecting the church in 1789.
   The next minister called here was Rev. John Davenport, May 18th, 1786. He was born in Philippi, New Jersey, Aug. 11th, 1752, graduated at the college of New Jersey, in 1769, and studied theology partly under Dr. Bellamy and partly under Dr. Buel, of East Hampton, Long Island. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Long Island, and served the congregation of Southhold as he stated supply for two years. From Southhold he came to Bedford, and settled May 18th, 1786, and remained here a faithful and godly minister for five years. Leaving here, he was called to Deerfield, New Jersey, and settled there Aug. 12th, 1795. He remained there ten years, and was dismissed on account of failing health. He finally became a home missionary in Western New York, and died in Lysander, July 13th, 1821, an amiable and excellent man.
   In June, 1792, Rev. Isaac Foster was settled here, and remained not more than two years. We are in possession of the original subscription list, with the amount promised by each subscriber for the support of Mr. Foster for one year, commencing March 22nd, 1792, in £.s.d., and here we find the names of ancestors of families still residing in Bedford --the Millers, Mills, Holmes, Clarks, Lyons, Benedicts, French, Ambler, etc. Mr. Foster remained probably two years and left, as tradition reports, with his name and that of his wife in bad repute. But we know nothing of the place whence he came, or whither he went, or where he died. Then came a most excellent man, the Rev. Samuel Blatchford, who preached here for some time as stated supply, refusing