My last by Capt. Walker of the 1st Octr having as I presume got safe home, in compliance with my instruction I make bold to inform the Society, of a material alteration that has happened within my Parish & the county of Beaufort, since the writing of that letter.
The inhabitants (thinking their county & Parish too extensive being near 100 miles long & 30 wide) petitioned the assembly last Decr for a Division into 2 counties & 2 Parishes which being granted, the Govr was pleased, to call the upper county, Pitt County, & St Michaels Parish & the lower in which Bath town stands, retains its old name of Beaufort & St Thomas' Parish. This Sir I thought proper to inform the Society of, for their further instructions, having by this means lost the better half of my white Parishioners so that the whole number of whites in the Parish of St Thomas' is not now quite 1000 besides about 400 taxable negroes. I as yet continue (till it can be supplied with a minister) to visit occasionally Pitt county which now lies above me, & Hyde county, which is below me, on the River Pamplico or Tar River, & every other vacant Parish into which I at any time have business, I take care to call the inhabitants of that Parish together & inform them of the Society's good wishes for their souls welfare & of the great expence they are at, in maintaining an Orthodox Clergy for their benefit. Last winter I went as far Southerly as new River (about 80 miles from home) into Onslow county, the present seat of enthusiasm in this Province: where having preached twice the few remaining Episcopals there, were very thankful to me & the gainsayers of our establishment, were (as they said) glad to hear that in many things our disputes were only about words, I therefore think myself in duty bound, to inform the society that it would be necessary, to give their missionaries that are at Newbern & Cape Fear, directions to visit alternately the Southern counties of Onslow, Cartaret & Duplin, which lie between Newbern & Wilmington, till such time as they are willing to give encouragement, to a settled minister, & I for my part will undertake (as often as the vestry of this Parish will Permit
In March last I likewise made a voyage [to] Altamuskeet in Hyde County (a place formerly mentioned to the Society as separated by a dismal morass, from the main of this Province) where I preached twice & remained a week & baptized in that time 52 white & 7 Negro children & 4 adult negroes. I likewise with pleasure inform the Society, that the few remains of the Altamuskeet, Hatteras & Roanoke Indians (whom I likewise mentioned in a former letter) appeared mostly at the chapel & seemed fond of hearing the Word of the true God & of being admitted into the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 men & 3 women & 2 children were baptized by me. I could have wished the adults were better instructed, but their sureties & a northern Indian among them, who had been bred up a christian, promised to take that care which the short stay I made among them, would not admit me to take of them, to have refused them altogether, might be the stopping the remainder of those tribes, who have very little notion of any religion living among a set of people, who want very near as much information as they themselves.
If the Society has any instructions for me they will come safe from Mr. Anthony Bacon's in Threadneedle Street or Messrs White & Graham in St. Martins Le Grand, near Newgate Street.