Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Stewart to Daniel Burton
Stewart, Alexander, 1725-1772
November 22, 1765
Volume 07, Pages 126-127
——————– page 126 ——————–
[N. C. Letter Book S. P. G.,]
Mr Stewart to the Secretary.
Bath No Carolina. November 22nd 1765.
I received your favor of the 26th of November last some time in the latter end of Sept. which was the first and only letter I have received since you have been appointed Secretary to the society.—But Charlestown is the worst passage for letters you can send by to the Missionaries of the Northern parts of this province, it being above 320 miles distant from this place and no correspondence by Vessels or otherwise between them—There are frequently Vessels advertised for Bath, Newbern and Edenton and the Brig Berwick Peter Copeland Master (by whom this goes) consigned to Mr William Hunter Fenchurch Street will return here as soon as she has discharged. Norfolk in Virginia is by much the highest place of Trade being but 80 miles from this place and a post goes regularly once a fortnight. I recovered my health so well after a fit of sickness, I had this last spring that hearing nothing from the society I determined to spend another summer in this province and I accordingly did and performed my duty in this and Hyde County as much.—I baptized in this Parish 52 white and 17 black Infants and two Indian boys and administered the sacrament to 107 Communicants—The number of our Inhabitants increases but slowly since the division of our County, we are about eleven hundred souls (besides black) all of whom except a few new lights profess themselves of the Church of England. In Hyde I baptised 72 white and thirteen Black Infants and administered the sacrament to 55 Communicants so that this half year I have baptized 124 whites 40 black infants and 2 indian boys and administered the sacrament to 162 communicants. I was in hopes that I should have been able to have gone into the other half of Hyde and into Pitt County this Fall, but I was taken ill the 11th day of October of a Fever which at once deprived me of the use of my limbs and tho’ I have in a great measure got the better of my fever, yet I can no more walk than a new born Infant—my pains are fixed in my right thigh and knee and tho’ it is now two months almost since I have been taken and I use the Cold Bath constantly yet I am nothing the better—the business of my function exposes me to unavoidable hardships by water in this Eastern part of the
——————– page 127 ——————–
Country my parish is divided by a river five miles over. I am obliged to serve one Sunday on the South and the other on the North side of this River and the variety of Seasons here renders it frequently very difficult to cross and the latter end of this summer has been very tempestuous by which means I believe I have acquired that disorder I now am afflicted with being frequently in an open boat for six hours together and wet most of the times So that though I have not hitherto I shall as soon as able, make use of the Societies Indulgence for at present I am only a dead weight to them.
It grieves me that my letters of late should be so full of complaint but I trust in God that a few months absence will renew my health and restore me once more a useful missionary to this province.
I am &c
Hap tips to Sharron for this document.