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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from James Moir to Philip Bearcroft
Moir, James, d. 1767
April 22, 1742
Volume 04, Pages 605-606

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

Wilmington April 22d 1742.

Reverend Sir, [to the Secretary]

When I was in London I signified to you that this part of the Province where I am Missionary is about 150 miles in breadth along the coast and that in some places they have settled upwards of 150 miles back from the sea The Inhabitants are very much scattered, and most of them live at a great distance from one another which renders it impossible for me to serve them as I could wish the generality of them are extremely ignorant, I baptized 210 children. I likewise told you then that there was very little encouragement for a Regular Ministry & I don't see as yet any prospect of bettering it.

Since the 15th of February last I have baptized 32 children & received to the communion 48 Persons. In this county which is pretty large we have about 3000 Inhabitants, two thirds whereof are Negroes, I take one half of the whites to be Dissenters of various denominations—notwithstanding I ride twice a year betwixt this and the Neuse and make all the inquirys I can, it is not possible for me to know the number of Inhabitants and what they profess we have no churches no Glebes, no Parsonage Houses, nothing so far as I can see, that discovers in the People the least intention of providing even the necessary travelling charges. We are wretchedly accommodated and at extravagant rates We are subject to so many inconveniences that I am ashamed to mention them, and don't at all wonder to hear former Missionaries were much dissatisfied & had so little inclination to stay in this Province.

The May following I acquainted you that since October last I had twice gone the length of the Neuse performing the duties of my Function in different places—that I had baptized 306 white children, & one adult, about 7 Negro Infants & two adults—that the number of communicants was but small, the most part of the people being ignorant to the last degree & little or no provision made for the necessary charges of such

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as might be willing to instruct them. that the Assembly of this Province was to meet here the September ensuing. and that not a few of the Members had promised to use their endeavours to put the Clergy on a better footing than they had been heretofore.

I am, Revd Sir, &c.,