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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Gabriel Johnston to Philip Bearcroft
Johnston, Gabriel, ca. 1698-1752
October 15, 1748
Volume 04, Page 876

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

Newberne October 15. 1748

Sir, [to the Secretary]

You may probably be surprised that I have not long before this time returned my hearty thanks to the Honble & Reverend Society for the honour they have done me in choosing me a member. I assure you Sir it does not proceed from any want of the sense of the obligation I am under for so great a favour. But as I have been for these two years past soliciting for leave to go home, I was resolved to make my acknowledgments in person, and at the same time to lay before them a more exact account of the State of the affairs of this country than has hitherto been done.

The reason of my troubling you at present is to recommend to the Society by your means the Revd Mr. Bevis who has officiated as Minister in New Brunswick on Cape Fear River for these two years past, to the universal satisfaction of the People; both for the Integrity of his Life and the soundness of his doctrine.

This Gentleman lived many years as a Layman in this country & was even then when under no restraint from the character of his Function, generally esteemed & respected by all the Gentlemen there for the Innocence of his Life, and a blameless conversation It is but within these 4 years that he discover'd to some of his intimate acquaintances that he was in orders. He has since produced to me authentick Exemplifications of his being ordained Deacon & Priest by the Lord Bishop of Peterborough in the latter end of the Reign of Queen Anne, if I am not mistaken 1711.

Mr. Moyer the Missionary for the Southern parts of this Province; about 2 years ago did without asking leave of any body remove himself from Cape Fear to that part of the Country adjoining to the Virginia Line and has never officiated since as Missionary Mr. Bevis has done all he can to supply this loss in his neighbourhood. But the want of a Minister is very sensibly felt in that large District, and a Multitude of children are unbaptized.

Everybody I have conversed with earnestly wish the Society would appoint Mr. Bevis as their Missionary, as he is a person they know, have a good opinion of, and whose Constitution is enur'd to the Climate, and consequently will enable him to bear the fatigues of his Labourus Function much better than any stranger can do.

I am, Sir, your most, &c.,