Martha Ballard's Story
Chapter 7

Fosters creditors line up to collect

The Judge Howard Martha mentions on June 24th operated the store at Fort Western, where customers normally accumulated debts, and paid off their debts, over a period of years. But with the discredited minister in a precarious position, his creditors were now lining up to collect. And Martha and Ephraim were being asked to testify. Martha wrote: "mr Ballard & I were Seited to give our Deposition Concerning what we heard Judg Howard & his widdow Say about Some Beef he gave the revd Foster."

Link to the court record to find out which financial claims against Foster survive in the record.

In Martha's diary, we can see that financial claims against the Rev. Foster were filed by the local storekeepers, and by his neighbors. In October, Martha reported: "Charls Webber ataching peoples Efects on acount of what mr Foster owes him."

Most of this important -- but local -- information does not show up in the court records.

Foster haggles with the town
Some of our key clues are not at all obvious at first sight...

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Martha Ballard's Diary

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June 24, 1789 (Wednesday)

Diary entry for Jun. 24, 1789. View Text (link at top) to see text version.