Francis Le Jau to John Chamberlayne (Secretary)

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Title

Francis Le Jau to John Chamberlayne (Secretary)

Description

He reached South Carolina in October and was kindly received by the authorities. Thomas died shortly before his arrival. Auchinleek elected to stay in Bermuda. Also discusses sickness, including of Dunn; invasion of the French and Spanish; dissenters and Africans coming to Church; Indigenous Americans and their languages.

Date

2 December 1706

Identifier

Lambeth SPG 16 141-4

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Diplomatic Transcription

Ent[ere]d
Dr le Jau. Carolina
2, Decemb[er] 1706

To
John Chamberlain Esq[uire]
at His House in Petty France

St James Goose Creek in South Carolina
Decemb[er] the 2d 1706

Sir

I left Virginia the 12th of October last and the Divine Providence brought me safe here the 18th of the same month; I was mightily afflicted when the first news I heard was that of the unexpected Death of our Rev[eren]d Brother Mr Sam[uel] Thomas departed this life ten days before my coming, he is universally Lamented by all good Men for his great Zeal & Edifying Life. It is thought he contracted the Pestilential feaver by Lying in Charlestown, he was not sick for above a week, and having Implored the divine assistance to the last moment God in his Mercy I hope took him to his holy heaven octob[er] the 10th I flattered myself with the hopes of his dear Company, help, & Advices. But I must Submit, and The Lord I Adore who has hitherto preserved me, I firmly Trust to his Great Goodness that he will take care of me and direct me in my Mission. We are also deprived of the Presence of our Brother Mr haoenleck who has thought fit to stay in Bermudas where I suppose a Minister was wanting. Mr Dunn has been afflicted with the feaver and Ague, and as he was on the recovery is fallen sick again, & continues so still. I hope there is no danger his Parishioners on the Southward of this Colony are willing he Should come among them and leave the Neighbourhood of Charlestown that has been so sickly these 7 or 8 Months; I saw him 5 days ago disposed to Comply with their desire. He Charged me to give his duty to his Grace the President and The Hon[oura]ble The Members of the Society. Upon my first Landing I saw all the Inhabitants Rejoycing: they had kept the day before holy for a thanksgiving to Almighty God for being safely delivered from an Invasion from the French & Spaniards, who came with 5 vessels the 27 of August last. Landed in 3 places and having had 40 men kill’d and left 230 Prisoners were forced back to the sea the 31 of the same month. we took one of their ships & lost but one man. We hope they won’t attempt the like any more, and in case of any such accident, we are well secured by fortifications & all things in great order but our barr 5 miles from the town is a good defence; it has but 14 foot water in:

The Reception I met with, was Extraordinarily kind, and far more Respectfull than I deserve. and I dayly receive great tokens of Goodness from his Excell[e]ncy Sr Nath[aniel] Johnson our Governour \&/ Mr Chief Justice Nich[olas] Trott a very learned Person, and who is about a Work the best of the kind I ever knew, it is a new sort of hebrew Lexicon: There are several other worthy Persons who delight in shewing how much they value the dignity of our character, & Generally I have met with all the Civility I could wish: even from the dissenters I have seen. the Sickness which was still raging in town obliged me to make no stay att all there but I presently was carryd to the Country in the Parish The Society was pleasd to give me the care of. There I continue among very good and oblidgeing Persons of whom I must declare that by their diligence and attention they shew a true desire to become Good Servants of the Lord Jesus. The change of climate & The fatigue of my voyage had somewhat disordered my health. Through Gods blessing I am pretty well for the present; and when I am season’d to the country I hope I’ll do well. Our Church and Parsonage house will be fitted up in a short time. Materials are getting ready very fast. In the mean time great & charitable care is taken of me att Mr Moore’s, son to Coll[one]l Moore who dyed a week before Mr Thomas and in him The Clergy has lost a true friend & the Country a very great support. But it is not possible for me to forbear declaring the kind usage I receive of the Lady the Coll[one]ls widow, \&/ all the family: I am the more Particular on this account because I think it an Act of Justice to undeceive the world; and Let such Clergymen as the Society please to send come freely they will find matters as I say, & much better; for I must own that for gentility, Politeness and a handsome way of living this Colony exceeds what I have seen. Poor familyes may come here, and will live very well; I don’t talk of getting easily great Estates, which desire should never be in the heart of a Christian, but I mean they shall have a plenty of things necessary for life if they be Industrious. for this is the finest climate I ever saw, the soil produces every thing without much trouble, and at this time the weather is finer than in Aprill with you in England. the sickness is I bless God over. we are told it is now got into virginia & new york. Virginia Indeed was very sickly when I came away.

Upon the Alarm the Inhabitants made above 1400 good men in the town & a great many in the Country besides. there is 100 familyes in my parish. few dissenters & several negroes come to Church but I will tell the particulars with the help of God according to the form prescribed in the Instructions; in a little time: for I am in a manner unsettled yet. however I must give the Society this opinion of mine concerning the spiritual good of the Indians our Neighbourgs. I dayly see several of them who seem very quiet, sweet humor’d & patient, content with little which are great dispositions to be true Christians. they speak divers languages in their several Nations, but I am Certainly Inform’d by a considerable Indian trader, who is \now/ always in the house with me Called Mr Pike a kinsman to Mr Moore that there is a Language called the Savanas which is fine, smooth, and easy to be gott, and may be called the transcendent language of America, spoken every where through the Continent as latin was formerly in Europe & Arabick is still in Affrica. and there is an Indian town 100 miles of S. Carolina, about S[outh] W[est]. where som English traders live and that Language may be Learned. I propose that som young men not yet in holy orders, tho with a tincture of good Learning, should be Encouraged to come upon that account & humbly submit my Judgment to that of the Society. Our Assembly which is the Parliam[en]t of the Colony is now sitting. the two Acts that made so much noise are repealed. the Ecclesiastical Court of Commissioners is dissolved. a new Act is passd to Erect 8 parishes and to allow to Ministers 50£ a year for the present & 3 years hence the Sallery will be 100£ of this Country money. which by what I perceive when I buy Necessaryes will answer to about 60£ sterl[ing] so now I have about 30£ here to depend upon besides what gratuity the Society is pleased to allow to me, & which I humbly Request to be Continued for the Necessary maintainance of my Numerous family. the passage of whom will prove very chargeable & I am affraid must come but Indifferently provided to a place where cloathing \& necessary stuff/ is sold att 2 or 3 hundred percent. we want 4 Ministers more and some School Masters who can be clarks. if some French Minister would come from here there is the same maintainance from the Country for two of them and if they could serve an English Parrish ‘twould do better. As for me I design under the direction of the holy spirit to do all the service & good I can among all men here according to the promise I made to Mylord of London. I will now & then as I am able visit the French plantations; but will chieffly behave my self according to the Commands I receive from His Grace the President & the hon[oura]ble Society

If there was any Papers directed to me from the Society and delivered to Mr Thomas, I suppose they must be lost, his goods have been view’d & appraised of late & nothing was found for me but the 2 boxes of books & sheets: but no Letters nor Directions. so that I have proceeded according to the Intimation[s] given to me by Mr Dunn, & seeing the Acts repealed have made no difficu[lty] to Resolve to stay here, and send an Invitation to my Wife & family to undertake the voyage & come to me. There has been and is still a misunderstanding between The Minister of the town & the People of the Country I have meddled no further in the business that by endeavouring to promote Peace. and am very sorry had not the good fortune to succeed. I pray for Grace to all & that the Spirit of union & love may Reign here; that’s all I do for the present with the Particular care of my Parish, tho I never deny Coming to town when I am Invited, tis but 18 miles of this place where I Live, and Indeed I am received in Charlestown with true Christian love by all, God be blessed. I am desired by the Gentlemen of my parish to return their humble thanks to the Society for the Great Bible & Comm[on] Prayer book & book of homilyes they have received. And all our poor people & Negroes who had a share in the distribution of the small tracts Pray Earnestly for the prosperity of the Society. I Joyn with all my heart with them, Praying to Almighty God for the Preservation of His Grace, The President, \Their Lordships the Bishops/ & the Rest of the Members my charitable benefactors of that hon[oura]ble Society. And begging the Continuation of their favour with the assistance of their Prayers with My Lords Blessing I conclude this Letter, wishing it may safely come to your hands, and assuring you that I will write by all convenient opportunityes. honour me Good sir with the Continuance of your friendship which I value very much. I Pray for your Spiritual & temporal welfare & do remain with due Respect

Sir

Your most humble and obedient servant

Francis Le Jau

I did not see yet Mr hasel the deacon he keeps at the Governours 30 miles of me. one Mr Kelson who succeeded me in St [Christo]phers is here & willing to settle with us.

Transcription and MS

Ent[ere]d
Dr le Jau. Carolina
2, Decemb[er] 1706

To
John Chamberlain Esq[uire]
at His House in Petty France

St James Goose Creek in South Carolina
Decemb[er] the 2d 1706

Sir

I left Virginia the 12th of October last and the Divine Providence brought me safe here the 18th of the same month; I was mightily afflicted when the first news I heard was that of the unexpected Death of our Rev[eren]d Brother Mr Sam[uel] Thomas departed this life ten days before my coming, he is universally Lamented by all good Men for his great Zeal & Edifying Life. It is thought he contracted the Pestilential feaver by Lying in Charlestown, he was not sick for above a week, and having Implored the divine assistance to the last moment God in his Mercy I hope took him to his holy heaven octob[er] the 10th I flattered myself with the hopes of his dear Company, help, & Advices. But I must Submit, and The Lord I Adore who has hitherto preserved me, I firmly Trust to his Great Goodness that he will take care of me and direct me in my Mission. We are also deprived of the Presence of our Brother Mr haoenleck who has thought fit to stay in Bermudas where I suppose a Minister was wanting. Mr Dunn has been afflicted with the feaver and Ague, and as he was on the recovery is fallen sick again, & continues so still. I hope there is no danger his Parishioners on the Southward of this Colony are willing he Should come among them and leave the Neighbourhood of Charlestown that has been so sickly these 7 or 8 Months; I saw him 5 days ago disposed to Comply with their desire. He Charged me to give his duty to his Grace the President and The Hon[oura]ble The Members of the Society. Upon my first Landing I saw all the Inhabitants Rejoycing: they had kept the day before holy for a thanksgiving to Almighty God for being safely delivered from an Invasion from the French & Spaniards, who came with 5 vessels the 27 of August last. Landed in 3 places and having had 40 men kill’d and left 230 Prisoners were forced back to the sea the 31 of the same month. we took one of their ships & lost but one man. We hope they won’t attempt the like any more, and in case of any such accident, we are well secured by fortifications & all things in great order but our barr 5 miles from the town is a good defence; it has but 14 foot water in:

The Reception I met with, was Extraordinarily kind, and far more Respectfull than I deserve. and I dayly receive great tokens of Goodness from his Excell[e]ncy Sr Nath[aniel] Johnson our Governour \&/ Mr Chief Justice Nich[olas] Trott a very learned Person, and who is about a Work the best of the kind I ever knew, it is a new sort of hebrew Lexicon: There are several other worthy Persons who delight in shewing how much they value the dignity of our character, & Generally I have met with all the Civility I could wish: even from the dissenters I have seen. the Sickness which was still raging in town obliged me to make no stay att all there but I presently was carryd to the Country in the Parish The Society was pleasd to give me the care of. There I continue among very good and oblidgeing Persons of whom I must declare that by their diligence and attention they shew a true desire to become Good Servants of the Lord Jesus. The change of climate & The fatigue of my voyage had somewhat disordered my health. Through Gods blessing I am pretty well for the present; and when I am season’d to the country I hope I’ll do well. Our Church and Parsonage house will be fitted up in a short time. Materials are getting ready very fast. In the mean time great & charitable care is taken of me att Mr Moore’s, son to Coll[one]l Moore who dyed a week before Mr Thomas and in him The Clergy has lost a true friend & the Country a very great support. But it is not possible for me to forbear declaring the kind usage I receive of the Lady the Coll[one]ls widow, \&/ all the family: I am the more Particular on this account because I think it an Act of Justice to undeceive the world; and Let such Clergymen as the Society please to send come freely they will find matters as I say, & much better; for I must own that for gentility, Politeness and a handsome way of living this Colony exceeds what I have seen. Poor familyes may come here, and will live very well; I don’t talk of getting easily great Estates, which desire should never be in the heart of a Christian, but I mean they shall have a plenty of things necessary for life if they be Industrious. for this is the finest climate I ever saw, the soil produces every thing without much trouble, and at this time the weather is finer than in Aprill with you in England. the sickness is I bless God over. we are told it is now got into virginia & new york. Virginia Indeed was very sickly when I came away.

Upon the Alarm the Inhabitants made above 1400 good men in the town & a great many in the Country besides. there is 100 familyes in my parish. few dissenters & several negroes come to Church but I will tell the particulars with the help of God according to the form prescribed in the Instructions; in a little time: for I am in a manner unsettled yet. however I must give the Society this opinion of mine concerning the spiritual good of the Indians our Neighbourgs. I dayly see several of them who seem very quiet, sweet humor’d & patient, content with little which are great dispositions to be true Christians. they speak divers languages in their several Nations, but I am Certainly Inform’d by a considerable Indian trader, who is \now/ always in the house with me Called Mr Pike a kinsman to Mr Moore that there is a Language called the Savanas which is fine, smooth, and easy to be gott, and may be called the transcendent language of America, spoken every where through the Continent as latin was formerly in Europe & Arabick is still in Affrica. and there is an Indian town 100 miles of S. Carolina, about S[outh] W[est]. where som English traders live and that Language may be Learned. I propose that som young men not yet in holy orders, tho with a tincture of good Learning, should be Encouraged to come upon that account & humbly submit my Judgment to that of the Society. Our Assembly which is the Parliam[en]t of the Colony is now sitting. the two Acts that made so much noise are repealed. the Ecclesiastical Court of Commissioners is dissolved. a new Act is passd to Erect 8 parishes and to allow to Ministers 50£ a year for the present & 3 years hence the Sallery will be 100£ of this Country money. which by what I perceive when I buy Necessaryes will answer to about 60£ sterl[ing] so now I have about 30£ here to depend upon besides what gratuity the Society is pleased to allow to me, & which I humbly Request to be Continued for the Necessary maintainance of my Numerous family. the passage of whom will prove very chargeable & I am affraid must come but Indifferently provided to a place where cloathing \& necessary stuff/ is sold att 2 or 3 hundred percent. we want 4 Ministers more and some School Masters who can be clarks. if some French Minister would come from here there is the same maintainance from the Country for two of them and if they could serve an English Parrish ‘twould do better. As for me I design under the direction of the holy spirit to do all the service & good I can among all men here according to the promise I made to Mylord of London. I will now & then as I am able visit the French plantations; but will chieffly behave my self according to the Commands I receive from His Grace the President & the hon[oura]ble Society

If there was any Papers directed to me from the Society and delivered to Mr Thomas, I suppose they must be lost, his goods have been view’d & appraised of late & nothing was found for me but the 2 boxes of books & sheets: but no Letters nor Directions. so that I have proceeded according to the Intimation[s] given to me by Mr Dunn, & seeing the Acts repealed have made no difficu[lty] to Resolve to stay here, and send an Invitation to my Wife & family to undertake the voyage & come to me. There has been and is still a misunderstanding between The Minister of the town & the People of the Country I have meddled no further in the business that by endeavouring to promote Peace. and am very sorry had not the good fortune to succeed. I pray for Grace to all & that the Spirit of union & love may Reign here; that’s all I do for the present with the Particular care of my Parish, tho I never deny Coming to town when I am Invited, tis but 18 miles of this place where I Live, and Indeed I am received in Charlestown with true Christian love by all, God be blessed. I am desired by the Gentlemen of my parish to return their humble thanks to the Society for the Great Bible & Comm[on] Prayer book & book of homilyes they have received. And all our poor people & Negroes who had a share in the distribution of the small tracts Pray Earnestly for the prosperity of the Society. I Joyn with all my heart with them, Praying to Almighty God for the Preservation of His Grace, The President, \Their Lordships the Bishops/ & the Rest of the Members my charitable benefactors of that hon[oura]ble Society. And begging the Continuation of their favour with the assistance of their Prayers with My Lords Blessing I conclude this Letter, wishing it may safely come to your hands, and assuring you that I will write by all convenient opportunityes. honour me Good sir with the Continuance of your friendship which I value very much. I Pray for your Spiritual & temporal welfare & do remain with due Respect

Sir

Your most humble and obedient servant

Francis Le Jau

I did not see yet Mr hasel the deacon he keeps at the Governours 30 miles of me. one Mr Kelson who succeeded me in St [Christo]phers is here & willing to settle with us.

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“Francis Le Jau to John Chamberlayne (Secretary),” USPG Online Exhibition , accessed December 6, 2021, http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/exhibition/uspg/items/show/30.

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