I yesterday recd a letter from the Revd Mr. Smith of our Parish of No. Carolina, setting forth to me a complaint, or rather an ill character, given of him to the Society for propagating the gospel, by Mr. Woodmason of the So. Province, who I believe, you, as well as myself a little know. I dont know what this gentleman, if he may be so called, can alledge with any justice to the injury of Mr. Smiths character, nor would the purport of his letters upon this occasion be minded by the society, if they knew his condition in life, & how subject he too frequently is, by all report to a disorder in his mind, a report I have from many of his actions ever believ'd and more especially from this instance of secretly attempting a man's reputation & by unfair methods endeavouring to deprive him & a large family of their bread. I am very sorry my business here will detain me some days longer, & that I cannot be present at the Society's meeting on Friday next to give Mr. Smith that character he so justlyif in his senses the effect only of some private pique. I say My Dear Sir my affairs at Portsmouth prevents my being in Town by Friday & obliges me to desire the Favour of you to attend the Society on that day and in my name assure those gentlemen, that for some years last I have been an eyewitness to Mr. Smith's great care of his congregation & good behaviour in the Parish where I live—that his duty there is very hard—his family very large—and his salary very small—& that I have been some months a judge of the great distress he has been driven to by taking from him his mission, to which if he be not again restored by the Society it will be impossible for him to live in No. Carolina by which means a very extensive Parish will be deprived of divine service where I think it the most wanted & the people robb'd of a minister held there in general esteem, for his farther character I shall refer the Society to a testimonial signed in my presence, by the governor and council of that Province, whose recommendation I hope will have due weight.
Your own Knowledge of Mr. Smith, I flatter myself will add some strength to this letter, whose goodness I never found wanting upon those occasions—I hope you are well & I am dear Sir