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Letter from James Adams to John Chamberlain
Adams, James
September 18, 1708
Volume 01, Pages 686-687

[From N. C. Letter Book. S. P. G.]

North Carolina, 18th September, 1708.


In my last, by Captain Stuart, I wrote you an account, among other things, what steps I had made in order to administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper to such as should be religiously disposed; but our unhappy distractions which immediately followed, and the flame the country has continued in ever since, broke my measures as to that, and has made me desist till it shall please God to put an end to the confusion and contentions the whole province is engaged in.

I shall not trouble you with a long narrative of the unhappy circumstances this country at present lies under, because Mr. Gordon can inform you by word of mouth, and, I believe, show a copy of the true state of this province, written by our president, in whose sincerity and integrity you may confide, and who has been no small sufferer for his affection to the Church. I shall only add, that, in general, there are three sorts of people among us: many religious and true members of our communion, some Quakers, and most bred up in ignorance, who neither know nor profess any religion at all; and of these last it is to be hoped our Saviour has a plentiful harvest to be reaped. The Quakers, though not the seventh part of the inhabitants, yet, by the assistance and contrivance of Archdale, a Quaker and one of the lords proprietors, have in a manner the sole management of the country in their hands, and of late years have

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at their pleasure procured a revolution of government as often as he that sat at the helm seemed to favor our Church, or endeavored to make any provision for the ministry; and if the grievances of the country be not speedily redressed by the proprietors, the Quakers, in conjunction with the Presbyterians (who always, in hopes of preferment, side with those who are in a capacity to promote their interest), will bear down the Church; and instead of our making proselytes, we shall, I am afraid, be hardly able to keep what we have from being perverted and seduced in this place of so great ignorance and enthusiasm. Beside, we shall be engaged in perpetual broils and quarrels (as we are at present); for our old worthy patriots, who have for many years bore rule in the government with great applause, cannot without concern and indignation think of their being turned out of the council and places of trust, for no other reason but because they are members of the Church of England, and that shoemakers and other mechanics should be appointed in their room, merely because they are Quaker preachers and notorious blasphemers of the Church; some of which have declared that, till the Prince of Wales be proved a bastard, the queen can have no pretensions to the crown of England. We are in hopes the lords have been imposed upon by Archdale, and that we shall be redressed from England according to the charter and laws of our country.

In the mean time I shall, by the grace of God, endeavor to behave myself with such moderation, diligence, and fidelity, as not to prejudice the great cause I have in hand.

That part of the country where I am, designed by this fleet to have sent an address of thanks to the society for my being sent among them; but, at my request, they have desisted till our animosities and heats (which already have not been without blood) be composed, and I give a further proof of my ministry.

That I may punctually observe your instructions and commands shall be the constant and faithful desire of, sir,

Your most obedient servant,