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 Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, Vol. 3
Dexter, Franklin Bowditch
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 Frontispiece   Title page     Page 474   Page 475 


Page 475


  SEPTEMBER 12-25, 1792 475
 13. Last Eveng Dr Edwds preached the Concio ad Clerum in the Chapel; as in Morng did Revd Mr. Hinsdale on Evid. of Revelation. This day at XI Revd Mr. Hart preached before the African Society at the Brick-where afterwards Timo Pitkin Esq. delivered an Orat. before the P. B. K. Society, with great applause.
  The Corpora sat. Mr. Tutor Gay resigned the Tutorship & we elected by Ballot Mr. Jona Walter Edwds Tutor. The Butler Sir Trumb. resigned, tho' he might have staid another year, & Sir Lathrop was chosen Butler. We appointed Committees-conversed on Funds-& on new Coll. Edifice, & agreed to get Materials-- Voted Salaries-did Business till X at Night. Adjourned to meet in Liby Oct. 23. next.
  14. Committee viewg Coll. Ground & considg the Plan & Materials fsor College Edifice.
  15. Relaxation & Amusement. Admitted 33. Fr. & 2 Soph.
  16. Ldsdy. I attended at Dr Danas all day. A.M. I heard Rev. David Austin.  P.M. Mr. Gray of Boston a Candidate.
  17. Copeland Stiles & family left us for Philada. He came here 10th August.
  18. My Wife set out for Rh. Isld. in the Stage.
  20. I sat out on a Journey1 to Albany & Ball To.
  23. Ldsdy.  Kept Sabbath & preached for Rev. Mr. Bartlet of Reading.
  24. Rode thro' Ridgfield to Rev. Mr. Meads2 æt. 66 of lower Salem. Lodged Mr. Meads. Isaac Foster still at Bedford in the Parsonage House, but dont preach-drinks a Qut Rum a day. Wife handsome but mentis inops.  Poor.  Works for Col. Sacket.  A Devil incarnate-an abandoned Minister!3
  25. Rode to Yorkto or Crumpond & attended a Presbytery. Attended an Eveng Lect.-heard Mr. Jackson a Cand.-Disciple of Mr. Lewis-studied 5 or 6 y. & finished one y. at Mr. Lewis Acady 4- licensd last Spring-called to 2 Cong., Marlboro &c.

  1 A few notes on this journey are inserted from the MS. Itinerary.
  2 Solomon Mead (Yale 1748).
  3 Isaac Foster, not a College graduate, was settled over the Congregational Church in West Stafford, Conn., from 1764 to 1781, when he was deposed from the ministry for heretical doctrine. In June, 1791, he came to Bedford, N. Y., and supplied the pulpit for nearly a year, or until the meetinghouse was closed to him on authentic information of previous misconduct.
  4 Rev. Amzi Lewis (Yale 1768) conducted a famous academy in North Salem, Westchester County, N. Y.