Letter from Alexander Stewart to Philip Bearcroft
Stewart, Alexander, 1725-1772
Volume 06, Pages 242-243
[From North Carolina Letter Book. S. P. G.]
From Mr. Stewart to the Secretary.
Bath, No. Carolina, May 20. 1760.
Within the space of these 6 years, that I have liv'd in this province, we have had no less than 4 different acts of assembly, for the electing of vestries & encouraging an orthodox clergy as they are called, the last vestry act we had met with the same fate as most of the other laws of this province, having been repealed in England for reasons (given agst it by the Bishop of London) which I suppose are well known to many of the members of the Society. In order therefore to prevent the law passed last session from being repealed, the assembly has not as formerly made one law for the electing of vestries & the encouragement of the clergy, but divided it into 2 acts that in case the Bishop of London should object (as it is doubtful he will) to that which relates to the clergy, the other which is for choosing select vestries may stand unrepealed, the law for the encouragement of the clergy allows them £100 proc: money per ann. salary, £20 where there is no glebe, & where there is a glebe of 200
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acres, a house of 38 by 18 and some other small houses as offices: but I dont know as yet of any one glebe in the province except mine near Bath & that no way improved or built on conformable to the present act of assembly, this law likewise does not intermeddle with the Bishop of London's jurisdiction, as to offending clergymen but in ev'ry thing else is the same as the former. . . The number of our inhabitants is much as usual but rather increased to about 2200. infant Baptisms the last half year 121 white & 26 Black; adults Baptized 2 white & 9 Blacks actual communicants 139 Dissenters upwards of 300 & the remainder profess themselves of the church of England. The inclosed comes from my predecessor's widow she is really an object of charity but whether the society's bounty extends to such cases, they are the best judges of. I have nothing more at present to add but to beg that the Society will excuse my drawing quarterly for my salary as I am under an absolute necessity, frequently so to do on account of the slow payments that are made here of our provincial salaries & as I likewise have 2 sons now in Ireland at school remittances for whose education, I cannot otherwise conveniently make.
I am Revd Sir &c their dutiful sincere servt
Missy at Bath town.