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Letter from John MacDowell to Philip Bearcroft
MacDowell, John, 1717-1763
July 03, 1761
Volume 06, Pages 567-568

[From North Carolina Letter Book. S. P. G.]
Mr. Macdowell to the Secretary.

Brunswick July 3. 1761.

Revd Sir,

The day before yesterday Capn Heron called upon me who is just come in from England & gives me hopes, I shall soon have the pleasure of hearing from you, by one Captn Corry, who was to sail in about a month after he came away,—But he cannot give me assurance, that I am appointed to a Mission by the venerable Society; but says if I am not already, that I am to be.

But I hope the venerable Society have not kept me off all this time, if they have, I am in very miserable circumstanes; & I cannot help saying, that if in this life only I had hope, I should be of all men most miserable, & after what I have undergone for the sake of the propagation of the Gospel, let no one depend on a generous & disinterested mind & a faithful & diligent discharge of the ministerial duty in this country, or expect to meet with encouragement or reward.—But still I am not in the least concerned for myself for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. But alas, it almost breaks my heart, to think what will become of my dear helpless innocent Babe! if it should please God to take me from him; must I leave him without friends; or means of support; defenceless; & forlorn; in this bad part of the world; and I myself in a declining state threatened with a very fatal disorder, (the Flux) a disorder here ev'ry year as fatal almost as the Plague at Grand Cairo, I am almost 44 years of age, so that an attack of that disorder at this time of life, I can hardly expect to get over. I have been obliged to sell just now, for the discharge of debts contracted by last years sickness Deaths & misfortunes in my family 3 slaves which with one, I was obliged to sell before & one which was drowned last summer has reduced me, that I have but one old negro woman, a young girl & a young child left for myself & my child, I have quit Housekeeping & have betaken myself to a lodging.—If the venerable Society will only be pleased to give me assurance, that they will take care of my dear son after my death, that they will take

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him home & have him brought up in a virtuous education & in some laudable profession, so that he may prove an useful member of society I shall be quite content in my mind & shall not be uneasy about any provision being made for me, for I do not think at all that happiness consists in riches, but this request I beg, I pray I entreat for Gods sake & for my works sake, the venerable Society will not deny me, and I beg it of you, Revd Sir, to signify their grant of it, to me as soon as may be, I would have my son if Possible brought up a merchant,—I would fain know the pleasure of the society, concerning what I here mention before I make my will, because if they will not receive him I must dispose of him otherwise.

I pray my duty to the Society & am Revd Sir your obliged
& obdt Humble Servant
JOHN MACDOWELL.