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Letter from James Moir to Daniel Burton
Moir, James, d. 1767
October 02, 1764
Volume 06, Pages 1050-1053

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

No Hampton, Oct. 2d 1764.

Revd Sir:

Your favor of April 19th 1763 I received the 5th of July last and that of Feb. 23d 1764, 3 weeks after: But that of Nov. 6th 1763 never

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came to hand. I own it is my duty to respect Governors, and that I was inclined to pay all due deference to Govr Dobbs in particular, the late Revd Dr. Bearcroft having given me a great character of him; upon his arrival the vestry of Edgcombe desired me to wait on him, with the 2 members they sent, to lay their grievances before the assembly, and obtain redress, we went but to no purpose. Afterwards the assembly divided the Parish of Edgcombe in a ridiculous manner, and by a most unjust law compelled those of St. Mary's Parish to pay the arrears of the former Parish. the vestry of St. Mary's Parish sent 2 of their members with me to complain of the injustice done them; we laid the complaint before two assemblys but all in vain. During these transactions I had some conferences with his excellency, but could never discover in him any regard to truth or equity, and had it not been for a member of the Council I should have publicly exposed him for one of his notorious falsehoods, the 2 gentlemen he gave for his authors, declaring to me they would go along with me & tell him to his face they never told him such a thing nor never heard of it. His administration is almost universally hated and despised. Had the venble Society attended to what I formerly wrote concerning him, they would not have been much alarmed at my being so free with him. Clergymen are made slaves here, we have no chance for a fair trial, being subjected to the caprice of the Governor & Council. But should they turn me out of one Parish there will be enough to employ me. I have the esteem and affection of the body of the people. Even the collectors of Parish taxes are reconciled to me, since I left off inspecting the parish accounts, because I saw no possibility of bringing the collectors to justice. Many well wishers to our church have told me that an effectual stop would be put to the misapplication of Parish taxes, had it been fairly stated & represented at home. One vestry made an order requiring me to lay it before his Lordship of London, which with the bad state of my health, induced me to petition the venble Society for leave to come to London; were it my business, it were easy to shew that his excellency's Politics are of a piece with his morals, the vast sums levied in the late war, were laid out so as to be of little or no service, either to the mother country or to the neighboring Provinces, though these were always the pretences for the levies. The worthless wretches put into the commission of the peace have rendered our county courts an insupportable burden, his Excellency's favorite scheme
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has always been a large emission of Paper Currency, in which he hath been vigorously opposed by some leading men in the house of Burgesses. However last Assembly the majority came to a resolution of making a large emission next assembly which is to meet this month. But the act of Parliament has delivered creditors from this dreadful Blow. In short, oppression and injustice growing into practice have driven many out of this province and many more are endeavoring to remove their effects with all convenient speed.

In the county of N. Hampton, there is a Church & 3 Chapels, at which I officiate alternately: once a quarter I have preached on a week day at the request of those, who find it inconvenient to bring their Children to be baptized at the Church or Chapels. I have also preached many funeral sermons, sometimes 3 in a week. We have had excessive hot seasons this Summer and fall, and the intermitting fevers have not permitted me to officiate but once out of the County, Since my last of Apl 4 I baptized 207 white children and 50 black, though I preached twice on the occasion, there was no communion, there being no Churchwardens to provide the elements which too often happens when I cannot carry them along with me, formerly I administered the Sacrament of our Lord's Supper only at the Church on the Festivals, by which I could tell the precise number of communicants in a Parish, which is what I suppose the venerable Society wants. But for eight or nine years past I administer it also at the Chapels & sometimes in private houses at the desire of aged and infirm persons. Thus it happens that some communicants partake at several places, the accounts I transmit of them in general must be to the best of my judgment. If the venble Society requires the exact number in the different places, I shall not fail to send it. Tho' there are 7 years Salaries due to me, I'm made to hope that the repeated efforts of the tools of power to defraud me will prove abortive. The new vestry of Edgcombe have desired me by one of their number, not to bring suit; they assure me it is their design to pay my arrears & that they would have set about it at their first meeting could the vestry books have been found. I have also had the pleasure to see the vestry of N. Hampton, after unanimously agreeing to employ me, order citations for all that had Parish money in their hands; They declared also that at their next meeting they would lay tax sufficient to pay off the Parish debts, when I consider how well disposed the people are towards our Church, and what might have been done for a decent public worship through my influence with them, it grieves me that I cannot make the proper

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use of either because of the difficulty of making collectors refund under the present administration. I this day draw for my salary from Lady day to Michls 1764 and am, Revd Sir,

Your most Obdt Humble Servant