Martha Ballard's Story
Chapter 13

Rebecca Foster has a child

Look at this diary entry for April 20, 1790, four months after the trial in Vassalboro. Martha is recording news of the Fosters, who had moved out of town. "Neighbor Savage informd me that the Revd isaac Fosters Lady was Safe Delivd of a Dagt Last Evening & is Cleverly." Counting backwards, we realize that the child was probably conceived in August of 1789.

This birth does not appear in the official, often incomplete birth records.

Looking again at Martha's "Shocking indeed" entry from October 1789, one can figure out why Rebecca must have spoken up. She was pregnant. And her husband had been out of town.

Because Rebecca had confided in Martha within a few weeks of the attacks -- before she could have known she was pregnant -- Martha was her key witness.

Judge North flees after the Sessions hearing
The case was now going to be heard by the Supreme Judicial Court. And Martha Ballard would be called on to testify again.

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Martha Ballard's Diary

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April 20, 1790 (Tuesday)

Diary entry for Apr. 20, 1790. View Text (link at top) to see text version.