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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Minutes of the New Bern Committee of Safety
New Bern (N.C.). Committee of Safety
July 21, 1775 - July 23, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 115-116

[Reprinted from the American Archives. Vol. 2. Page 1697.]
Proceedings of the Safety Committee at Newbern.


Newbern, North Carolina, July 21st 1775.

Agreeable to an order of the honorable the Continental Congress, yesterday, the 20th instant was observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer to humble ourselves before God and to deprecate his impending judgments now held over this land for our sins and offences. Divine service was performed in the church and a very animating and spirited discourse suitable to the occasion was read by a member of the Committee, to a very crowded audience, who were assembled on the occasion. A deputation from the Committee had been ordered, previous to the day, to wait on the Reverend Mr James Reed, Member of the Parish, to request and entreat him to

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perform divine service in his church on the fast day and deliver a sermon; but their entreaties were vain, he giving as a substantial reason, that as he was one of the missionaries of the honorable Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, he should render himself obnoxious to the Ministry and of course lose his mission.

The Committee taking into consideration the unaccountable behaviour and conduct of Mr Reed, in deserting his congregation yesterday, when almost all ranks and denominations of Christians among us were assembled at the church by order of the Continental Congress, to humiliate ourselves before God, by fasting and prayer, to avert from us his heavy judgments now hanging over us; have

Resolved that the Vestry of this Parish be earnestly requested to suspend the said James Reed from his ministerial function in the said parish and that they immediately direct their church-wardens to stop payment of the said Mr Reed's salary as minister of the said Parish.

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In General Committee,
Newbern, July 23d, 1775.

The Select Committee having passed a vote of censure on the Reverend Mr James Reed, for refusing to perform divine service in his church on the day set apart by the Continental Congress for a fast, a motion was made that the said suspension be agreed to; whereupon it was

Resolved unanimously, that the said suspension be confirmed.