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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Giles Rainsford to William Taylor
Rainsford, Giles, b. 1679
January 19, 1715
Volume 02, Pages 152-153

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[From N. C. Letter Book of S. P. G.]

Pastotank 19th Jany 171[5]

Worthy Sir

I recd both your letters but that of the 18th Decembr came to hand but November last I am extremely concerned at the mortifying consideration of my disobliging the Society in the business of Mr Ward & Quigley should I go about to lay before you the many advantages they made of my necessity the compass of a letter would not be sufficient to unravel the several items of their extortion but I am in some measure satisfied with the care consideration of what pennance I inflicted on myself for so unwise and so unwarrantable a practice the fault I hope is not unpardonable with the Society since this acknowledgement of my guilt may wipe away the stains of a reproachful Crime the pure effects of my necessity durum dum necessitas, I found a true saying in the very instance before me, however I'm thankful to you for the kind reproof which was done as the apostle enjoins in the spirit of meekness and forbearance as to the present state of the Government the Indian differences are all composed and Peace and Quietness seems to flourish in our land. You are pleased to give me an account of Fifty one pounds and ten shillings due to me at Xmas 1713 I have drawn for the Eighty pounds Sterling some time since which was formerly protested in 2 forty pound Bills and should this meet with the same fate I cannot tell what will become of me But the consideration of the last Standing Ordn made by the Society relating to Missionaries Bills forbids me to suspect any such proceedings I have now drawn on the Treasurer for £12 5s Stg which Sir I hope you will add this one trouble more to the rest you have undergone for me of seeing it paid. Protesting of Missionaries Bills, when the Salaries due to 'em brings great scandal on the drawer and makes us little in the eyes of these prying animals.

I have been five months together in Chowan Indian Town & made myself almost a Master of their Language & therefore upon my hearing of the Govr of Virginia's project of settling of 4 Nations of Indians at the head of Meherring river, I offer'd myself as Missionary to 'em with the proposal of having one hundred pounds sterling yearly paid me for my trouble 'Tis thirty miles beyond Inhabitants, & the great good I may do, thro' Gods Fatherly assistance among those unenlightened creatures may redound to Gods great Glory and my Comfort. I have enclosed the

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Govr of Virginia's answer to my letter and hope to meet some Encouragement from the Society in relation to this affair—Charles Eden our new Govr tells me he'l acquaint the Society in this apportunity of a passage home, of my behaviour and deportment since his arrival among us & how indefatigable I have been in that grand Concern the Care of Souls, so that I need say no more on this head but leave it to his report. I shall only add that I have brought over to the Church one Patrick Lawler on Bennetts Creek from a Rank violent Papist, to a Sound Orthodox Believer I have Baptized upwards of 40 Negroes in this and the Neighbouring Governmt in the compass of this past year Besides (wch is almost an impossibility here) Christened 3 children of one Peirce a Quaker's by the consent of the mother tho' seemingly of that persuasion—In Nansemond County bordering on Carolina, I have sav'd upwards of 200 Souls from embracing Quakerism by my Preaching & conference among 'em & have made ye ignorance of their great Apostle Joseph Gloster in a dispute appear to whole Multitudes & yet their prejudice to our establishment is such yt I fear there is no possibility to win upon 'em—I found myself obig'd in conscience to continue for some time with these People, by reason of their lukewarmness & indifferency to our own constitution; but by my constant catechising & teaching they are become tolerable proficients in the knowledge of ye Gospel—This very action occasioned Mr Urmstone's Report of me yt I do not altogether continue in ye Government I was appointed to, whereas my commission from Mr. Chamberlayne was to be a general Itinerant in this Colony, but if I see a Sheep going astray in ye wide wilderness I must not step out of my own Pasture to save it—Alas poor man! I never sold ye Societys Books for butter corne & eggs but made conscience of dispersing them according to ye true intent of ye Donors—I wish I had some small Tracts remitted me with Bibles & Prayer Books wch are very much wanting here—I sadly want Bennetts confutation of Quakerism wch with the rest of his works—Jones's translation of Lunibarck to lend about, I cou'd wish for some good Discourses on ye Passion wth all the Sermons preached at Boyles Lectures particularly Dr. Bentley's Spark on ye festivals. these if stopt out of my Salary. I have not one of ye Societies collections of Papers, otherwise I shou'd take my measures according to ye instructions you were pleased to give me—I beseech you to pardon what is past & hope to meet suitable encouragement from ye Society (ye necessary reward of my future diligence) in all religious performances undertaken by Sr Yours & c.