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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John LaPierre to Edmund Gibson
LaPierre, John, 1681-1755
October 09, 1733
Volume 03, Pages 529-530

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

New Brunswick in Cape Fear Alias Cape Fear Octr the 9th 1733.

My Lord

As I had the honor to have been ordained by your Lordships predecessor in the year 1707 who recommended me to the Governor of South Carolina Sir Nath1 Johnston, to entitle me to a parish called St. Dennis in a French Colony which I was to serve till the death of the old settlers who did not understand the English tongue, so in the time of the new generation who understood the sd tongue in which they were born. I became an Assistant to the Revd Mr Hazel in the Parish of St. Thomas next to my parish hoping of the two nations to make but one and the same people tho' they were a distinct parish they indifferently followed the English Church and the French as well acquainted with both languages: And then seeing that my ministerial functions were not essentially required from a French Minister and hearing besides that in a province of North Carolina called Cape fear, alias New Hanover they wanted a minister the Inhabitants of that place sent for me and the Revd Mr

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Garden your Lordship's Commissary in concurrence with the rest of the Clergy did actually consent that I should go and settle the divine service where it had never been. I readily complied to go thither with the proviso that they would inform your Lordship concerning my removal, but things succeeded otherwise than I expected the first year, I was regarded and respected of the Inhabitants as St. Paul was at the first by the Galatians. every one readily subscribed towards my salary, & tho' it fell short of near £100 Yet was I satisfied out of consideration to a new country which owed its good beginning less to the provision made by human Laws than to the good discretion of some conscientious inhabitants the 2nd year the Gentn of the Vestry thought fit to lay an assessment upon the parish that private subscribers should not be overburthened but this proved of none effect upon a mistake because what was called a parish was in reality no parish by law or act of public assembly therefore I was entirely left to the good discrition of the several Inhabitants against whom the vestry had no power of compulsion therefore I fell short of my salary the second time the third year the Vestry I confess did me that justice to engage that satisfaction to me that might be denied by the public accordingly they promised me a certain sum to lessen my loss but this fell a great deal short of my necessary living after the 3d year I served the people of Cape fear six months longer but received nothing for it only this answer Who put you to work? then I thought it was time to ask for my discharge which after 3 times asking they granted me at last and took in my stead one Mr Richd Marsden now actually performing the divine service among them, a man whose whole study always was to undermine me, now my Lord I am left to my own shifting and I am forced to work in the field for my living and for fear this people of my former charge should in any wise endeavor to impose upon your Lordship's probity as I hear they petition for a new minister so I think myself in conscience bound to declare my mind that any Clergyman that has a mind to come thither at their request will find a lawless place, a scattered people, no glebe, no parsonage to receive him without which Govr Burrington told them that no minister should ever be sent to them from the Society nor from your Lordship however my Lord there is a certain Colony in this province that requires my help upon promise of subscribing towards my maintenance with whom I will with your Lordship's good leave apply upon any reasonable terms sooner than to see the country destitute of the light of the Gospel the bearer my Lord can testify the truth of what I do here set forth before your Lordship whose most obd't servant and dutiful son I ever profess to be in the Gospel of Christ.