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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from James Reed to Philip Bearcroft
Reed, James, d. 1777
June 26, 1760
Volume 06, Pages 264-266

[From North Carolina Letter Book. S. P. G.]
J. Reed to the Secretary

Newbern June 26 1760.

Revd Sir

I wrote you the 5th of last March, by three different conveyances & have now sent you according to promise My No. 1. Paroch, which though imperfect, is the most exact & regular I could possibly form in 4 or 5 months, & since the receipt of the society's orders & instructions; in the number of white inhabitants, I believe I have come very nigh the truth exclusive of Children under 6 years of

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age, in the number of Children & infants Baptized I have been very exact, 3 white adults are now under instruction for Baptism. In the number of those who have received the sacrament of the Lords Supper, I have been very exact, but cannot as yet ascertain the number of actual communicants of the Church of England, in the whole County, For the County is so very large. that 'tis not in my power to administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper at the several Chapels above once a year, therefore I have allotted the spring of the year for the discharge of that part of my duty, & as the last spring was the most sickly season that has ever happened in this part of the province for these 7 years past and great numbers are prevented by sickness from attending the Chapels, I shall not be able to inform the society of the number of actual communicants of the Church of England in the whole county before this time 12 months as to the number of dissenters & of those who profess themselves members of the Church of Engd I cannot pretend at present to be very exact, there are too many that can hardly be said to be members of any particular christian society, and great number of dissenters of all denominations come & settled amongst us from New Engd Particularly, Anabaptists, Methodist, Quakers and Presbyterians, the anabaptist are obstinate, illiterate & grossly ignorant, the Methodist, ignorant, censorious & uncharitable, the Quakers, Rigid, but the Presbyterians are pretty moderate except here & there a bigot or rigid Calvinist. As for papists, I cannot learn there are above 9 or 10 in the whole County. I have estimated the number of Infidels & Heathens to be about 1,000. We have no Indians amongst us, but the greatest part of the negroes in the whole county, may too justly be accounted heathens 'tis impossible for ministers in such extensive counties, to instruct them in the principles of the Christian religion & their masters will not take the least pains to do it themselves. I baptize all those whose masters become sureties for them, but never baptize any negro infants or Children upon any other terms. I have not ventured to put down, any Particular number of converts, for I cannot boast of the success of my labors. I trust in God there are several reform'd if not by my ministry, by the perusal of excellent pious tracts, which the society was pleased to send me & which I have with the utmost care & diligence distributed among my Parishioners Besides attending my own County & Parish I have for 4 or 5 years past frequently visited St Johns Parish in Carteret County. This County & Parish tho' contiguous to Craven is very difficult to attend on account of its being very
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much broken and divided by Creeks and Rivers, and the inhabitants are so poor & few in number that twill probably be a great many years, before they will be able to maintain a minister. They have built a neat wooden Chapel upon Newport River, where a small regular congregation constantly attends divine service, performed by a layman every Sunday. I have visited this Parish twice very lately. Once at a Private house where I baptized 8 children & once at the Chapel where I baptized 10 Children, and administered the sacrament of the Lords Supper to 19 Communicants.

I am, Revd Sir &c