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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Urmston to David Humphreys [Extract]
Urmston, John
April 25, 1720
Volume 02, Pages 380-382

[From North Carolina Letter Book of S. P. G.]

North Carolina April 25th 1720

Mr. Taylor my fellow laborer after having tried many places in the country and endured much went last autumn to the other country where he was much wanted but meeting with no better usage at Bathtown the place he first set down in was for shifting as he had done here from place to place, & in his way to Choe Sound, the Southermost settlment

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in the Government went on Shore on Harbour Island which is not inhabited, about 30 miles from any inhabitants, in the mouth of Neuse River. Where after having been ten days and nights in an open boat he perished thro' cold last February; there were some people on the island hunting for hogs, that had been placed there, who with those that went with him buried him, and then rifled his chests, and divided the spoils, and are not to be brought to any account. Some of them have been purged by oaths but that is of little force with a North Carolina Man (such executors a man must expect that dies here) Nay! when alive and leaves the country, and leaves anything behind him, will fare little better, for upon my resolving to come home I treated with several about my plantation and was like to have been bubbled, It is hoped I shall leave it unsold, and then I may expect a blessed account of it, as well as the money that is due to me. This precinct owes me £243. 80£ whereof was due last new years day, but as yet not paid me nor do I know when will, the rest has been due these 5 years but its pretended it cannot be raised without a new power additional to the act of Vestry which must be done by the Asssmbly; which was to have met the first week in May next, but I understand it will be prorogued for reasons of state, I suppose to see the effect of the revolution in South Carolina, who have revolted from the Lord Proprietors & will own no power but that of the King: rather than come away before I have tried the utmost, I am willing to stay though I hazard my health, another Summer, but come what will, I am resolved to Quit next Spring if God spare me life and health I shall continue to labour in this fruitless vineyard till then and I hope that my staying longer than I either care or am obliged will not be deemed a fault. The sober thinking part of the people which God knows are but few are very much dissatisfied, with my thoughts of leaving them quite destitute after having brought the country into a little order. It will be a great grief to them say some, not to go to hearing and to enjoy the other rites of the Church as to have their children baptized &c. &c., and truly its a melancholy, dejecting thought but till better provision be made and more regard to our function, there is no remedy, they are for trying to bring the generality of the Inhabitants, to make some new overtures, which you may be assured, I shall promote for the sake of our successors, but I do not expect they will be such as will detain me & cause me to alter my intentions, I should be glad to have a line or two from you could it come in less time than the last did, there are frequent opportunities to Boston in New England and the like from hence hither, Except in the depth of winter—

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The Collr There Mr Jekylle is my correspondant, and will take care of all letters to as well as from Sir your most humble Servant