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Letter from the Vestry of St. Thomas' Parish, Beaufort Precinct to David Humphreys
St. Thomas' Parish (Beaufort Precinct)
March 10, 1717
Volume 02, Pages 273-274

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

North Carolina Bath County.
Marth 10th 1716-7

May it please the Honorable Society

We have been told that several of your Missionaries that have arrived in North Carolina, were ordered by your Honorable Society for this and the adjacent Parishes; but as yet we have not been so happy to have one Missionary resident in all the country and of all those that have come to North Carolina, it has been very rare that they have so much as visited these parts so that many of the children of these parts are yet unbaptized even to ten or twelve years of age notwithstanding of which the people of this country are kept from Dissenting from the Church of England by the care which has been taken to appoint readers pursuant to the act

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of Assembly for Establishing the Church and appointing select Vestry, an abstract whereof is here inclosed, by that act, it may easily be perceived how well inclined to the Church of England the whole Government is in general by the care taken that the Salary of the Minister shall be less than £50 per annum, although at present there are a few of the Parishes where the five shillings per pole will not fully amount to the £50 per annum, but this may be helped by the annexing to such Parishes as are adjacent till such times as they come to be better settled and able of themselves to make suitable Provision.

At present this is our unhappy circumstances as well as of the other Parishes in Bath County which have been extremely reduced by the late Indian War in which many scores of unbaptized Infants (who remained so for want of opportunity only) were barbarously murdered but seeing that war is now terminated and our country very likely to flourish again in all other respects except the only

Necessary Vizt That of Religion We therefore humbly beg your Honorable Society will consider our present deplorable state and alot some good Divine of Exemplary Life and conversation tho' of less learning for a Missionary to these parts and we do assure your Honors That we always make such further suitable allowance for the maintenance of such a one as not only the Laws of Government but even our own private circumstance will admit of.

This comes by Christopher Gale Esquire Chief Justice of North Carolina who has been very serviceable to these parts in promoting religious worship by whom your Honorable Society may be more fully and truly informed of the present state and condition of these parts than is possible for us to do in the compass of this Letter.

Additional Notes for Electronic Version: The Colonial and State Records of North Carolina title attributes this letter to the Bath County Vestry, but The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Second Series) Volume X, pages 240-241, attributes it to St. Thomas' Parish Vestry and provides the full text of the letter.