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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John LaPierre to Edmund Gibson
LaPierre, John, 1681-1755
April 23, 1734
Volume 03, Pages 623-625

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

New Hanover alias Cape fear in No Carolina April 23d 1734.

My Lord:

I had the honor in my last to inform your Lordship about the present state of Cape fear both Civil and Ecclesiastical. I was the first minister of the Church of England that came to these places to preach which I did during three years and a half and at last frustrated of the best part of my salary was obliged to ask for my discharge then forced to work in the field to help to maintain my family afterwards compelled by necessity to sell my house & land & lastly my movables so that at this time I am no better than a mendicant. I have been 3 years out of place depending and living upon my own substance but every now and then exercising

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my functions gratis among some of the dispersed families 'tis true my Lord I had several invitations from abroad for vacancies to be supplied but the Letters directed to me fell into the hands of our Gentlemen who made no scruple to suppress them as I have found it out since, lest my complaints of their proceedings should reach too far last of all I went further northward to a new colony called New River consisting of above 100 families all poor people but very desirous to have the holy worship set up amongst them Govr Burrington and one Mr. John Williams being the chief encouragers it is a thriving place and likely in few years to become a flourishing parish, there is a vast number of children among them to be instructed and if this place falls to my lot I shall make bold my Lord to send you a larger and more satisfactory account both of Cape fear and of that new place. Your Lordship's pastoral Letters my Lord which the Revd Mr. Garden sent me I dispersed among the people of Cape fear but to little purpose for some of the chief Inhabitants had already been secretly seduced by the favorers of one Chub and by means of such seducers and underhand dealers many have learned to quibble and cavil about the holy scripture and as their belief so is their manner of life in public incest or polygamy the first of which in a great man was the first occasion of my gradual depression and degradation in their mind when I spoke against it till at last they substituted in my room after I took my discharge one Mr. Richd Marsden formerly a preacher in Charles town in South Carolina who declined appearing before Comissary Johnson and the rest of the Clergy to shew his credentials, afterwards my Lord Portland's Chaplain in Jamaica then an incumbent in Virginia in a parish called Princess Ann and of late a traficant to Lisbon, and sometime after his return promoted by a few Gentlemen to be Minister to Cape fear without any popular election a man of an indifferent character and causing by the violence of assesments great murmurings among the people before they can get a qualified vestry and the said Richd Marsden belonging to Liverpool pleads that he was ordained by one of your Lordship's predecessors much about the time that I was sent to So. Carolina under Queen Ann 1707 one Mr. Hall being the Bishop's Secretary and a Cape fear Gentleman had since agreed to send to Your Lordship for a Minister and to have him qualified a Missionary by the Hon'ble Society this my Lord is lift to the prudent discretion of that Hon'ble Society this my Lord is lift to the prudent discretion of that Hon'ble Body and to Your Lordship's mature consideration that their bounty should not be misapplied nor a clergyman ensnared by their fair words there being no rules nor laws in the place for Church or State and the people being most of them stated men and very substantial planters but unwilling to
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Contribute towards the building of Churches and glebehouses or to the handsome maintenance of a minister all captains of ships who have been here will depose the same. My Lord I am Your Lordship's most humble servant and most dutiful Son in the Gospel,