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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from James Moir to Daniel Burton
Moir, James, d. 1767
April 06, 1763
Volume 06, Pages 978-980

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

Northampton, April 6, 1763.

Revd Sir,

Your Letter of July 16. 1762, not coming to hand till the end of Jany when all the Vestries of the Province were dissolved, I could not apply to any vestry of the Parishes, wherein I have or do now officiate, for a certificate of my behaviour. As there was no prospect of vestries being soon re-establish'd I laid your complaint before the former churchwardens, as I chanced to meet with them, they assured me as soon as they could conveniently meet, [they would] undeceive the venble Society by transmitting a true account of my behaviour attested before a Justice of the Peace, this they did on Good Friday, when assembled to celebrate the Sacrament of the Lords Supper & I now send it enclosed, the Revd Dr Bearcroft signified to me several years ago that Govr Dobbs complained against me: So that I make no doubt his being the author of the Present complaint. upon his arrival I waited on him & he soon convinced me he would act quite contrary to what was reported of him. Among other things I told him I was well assured that the deputy secretary & deputy auditor had been guilty of abomnible frauds & forgeries in the Kings

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Land office; upon which he was seized with a violent passion & I withdrew, the deputy auditor was his countryman & without any other thing to recommend him, his excellency has ever since been loading him with Power & dignity, he appointed him an assistant judge & has also recommended him to a seat in the council. His excellency seems to have a natural antipathy to every one that acts uprightly in a public office, Mr. Francis Corbin the Earl of Granville's agent in this Province, I dare say acted conscientiously, I had frequent opportunities of observing him; his excellency appointed a general assembly at Edenton to demolish the said Corbin, but his efforts proved ineffectual, the above mentioned deputy auditor publicly countenanced the mob, against the Earl of Granville's Land office, when it was his business to suppress it, as he was Colo of the county & still is. when his excellency & the deputy auditor, with their confederates found it was impossible to get a vestry in Edgecombe that would not employ me, they divided the parish in a most ridiculous manner, & by a notorious act of injustice, threw the expenses of the 2 preceeding years upon the Parish they expected I would settle in, only to save appearances they gave the collections of the Parish Taxes, to the said parish of Edgcombe, tho' they knew the taxes had not been collected by reason of the opposition they themselves had made to it, but this not having the desired effect, they divided the county after the same manner, which gave his excellency the opportunity of appointing a Sheriff in Edgcombe who managed the election of vestries in Edgcombe, so that they have had no vestry for several years & consequently no churchwardens; The Sheriff knowing that the Parish money can't be taken from but by churchwardens. It would be an endless task to enumerate all the little dirty tricks, they have used to drive me away. In short I have been so persecuted by the Govr & his accomplices, that I have several times laid down my office, with a resolution to settle in Virginia, but have been diverted from it, even after I was on the road, by the importunities of the people & were it not to oblige them, they are so fond of me, I would not stay one day in the Province, where Fraud, injustice & oppression are triumphant; if Govr Dobbs complains against me for great misbehaviour, why did not he take the law of me? he never can have greater advantages this way. I have told 2 Chief Justices to their Faces, how grossly they misbehaved in suits, for the recovery of Parish Taxes from Sheriffs who had squandered them away, when the captain of the above mob being put into the commission of the peace stood candidate at an election of Burgesses
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in Edgcombe, with all the influence of the Govrs Faction in these parts & had got the huzzah on his side, I painted the scoundrel in his proper colors & overset his election, 'tis true he came up to me with his myrmidons & began to chatter, but I soon stopt his mouth by telling him I was ready to prove again, what I had charged him with. I have been offered as good security as I could desire for the payment of my salaries here, if I would cease inspecting the vestry accounts & rejected it with indignation: after these & many such instances, no wonder the tools of Power should look on me with an evil eye; But all the ill natured rediculous stories they invent make no impression on the people, who when they have a chance, vote in such vestrymen, as they think will employ me. Is it to be supposed that the people think I neglect my duty when they have several times offered me a better maintenance by subscription, than I had on the Establishment; In the Parish of St. George N. Hampton where I reside, there is a church & 3 chapels. There are 2 places besides, where I preach now & then on a week day. I officiate monthly by subscription in Bertie county on week days & have thrice administered the sacrament there last year. I have also officiated in Hertford county. Since my last of Novr I baptized 286 white children, and one adult & 54 Blacks, the communicants are generally from 20 to 30. I am

Revd Sir, your most humble servant,