Elias Neau to John Chamberlayne (Secretary)

Dublin Core

Title

Elias Neau to John Chamberlayne (Secretary)

Description

Elias Neau writes to John Chamberlayne (Secretary) discussing the baptising and catechising of enslaved Africans in New York.

Date

30 April 1706

Identifier

Lambeth SPG 13 201-2

Letter Item Type Metadata

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Sender

Origin

Letter Type

MS Letter

EMLO Catalogue

Diplomatic Transcription

[f.201]

New York 30 April

1706

Mr Chamberlayne

Honor’d Sr.
I had the honor to write to you about two months ago by the Reverend Mr Evans Min[iste]r of Philadelphia, who went for London by the way of Virginia, & as I impose upon my self a duty of giving you an Account of what I do in my Office of Catechist, I take the Liberty to tell you again Sr, that my L[or]d Cornbury has given me my Lord of London's Licence, after having taken all the Oaths before him, and that I continue to Catechise all the Slaves that are sent to me, Mr Vesey has baptiz’d some without the against the Will and without the knowledge of their Masters, because they are afraid \fear/ that \lest/ by baptism they should become \temporally/ free, we \both Mr Vesey & I/ have said all we could on that Subject, to encourage their Masters, especially the Dutch and French, but we cannot free them from their fear, so that, we are resolved Sr to do all we can, for to Obtain an act of Assembly, to Confirm the right of the 

[f. 201v]

Inhabitants over their slaves after Baptism, in the same manner that they had it before, for w[i]th out that, they will not suffer them to be Instructed, for fear they should be baptiz’d w-[i]th-out their knowledge, I Reckon that there are in this City Town, above a thousand slaves, and that if their Masters would take as much care of their salvation, as they do of their bodily health (for the sake of the work they do for them) I should \not/ be able to do my Office alone, but unhappily, they seek not the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness, above everything else, and solid piety, is very rare in this Country.

Sr I have not been catechising in the Country, because they are almost all dutch that live there, and are untractable, so that if those they that live in Town, are affraid that their slaves may demand freedom after baptism, and

[f. 201a]

the Country people will certainly believe, that there is some other design upon them, besides bereaving depriving them of their slaves; so that I xx should have made an useless attempt, and whereas I have already told you Sr that I do not want for Catechumens in Town, altho' they do not send one a quarter of the slaves that there are here, yet their number increase from time to time; so that there remains nothing for me\to do/ \I have nothing to do/ but \earnestly/ to pray my Sweet redeemer to shower give his blessing to my poor \weak/ endeavors to the End that his glory may be more and more advanced, I take the Liberty to xx ask the help of your good prayers, desiring you to be persuaded that I am with a profound respect,

Hon[ore]d Sr
your most humble and
unworthy Servant,
E. Neau

[f. 202]

Mr Neau. New York
30 April 1706/7

Transcription and MS

[f.201]

New York 30 April

1706

Mr Chamberlayne

Honor’d Sr.
I had the honor to write to you about two months ago by the Reverend Mr Evans Min[iste]r of Philadelphia, who went for London by the way of Virginia, & as I impose upon my self a duty of giving you an Account of what I do in my Office of Catechist, I take the Liberty to tell you again Sr, that my L[or]d Cornbury has given me my Lord of London's Licence, after having taken all the Oaths before him, and that I continue to Catechise all the Slaves that are sent to me, Mr Vesey has baptiz’d some without the against the Will and without the knowledge of their Masters, because they are afraid \fear/ that \lest/ by baptism they should become \temporally/ free, we \both Mr Vesey & I/ have said all we could on that Subject, to encourage their Masters, especially the Dutch and French, but we cannot free them from their fear, so that, we are resolved Sr to do all we can, for to Obtain an act of Assembly, to Confirm the right of the 

[f. 201v]

Inhabitants over their slaves after Baptism, in the same manner that they had it before, for w[i]th out that, they will not suffer them to be Instructed, for fear they should be baptiz’d w-[i]th-out their knowledge, I Reckon that there are in this City Town, above a thousand slaves, and that if their Masters would take as much care of their salvation, as they do of their bodily health (for the sake of the work they do for them) I should \not/ be able to do my Office alone, but unhappily, they seek not the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness, above everything else, and solid piety, is very rare in this Country.

Sr I have not been catechising in the Country, because they are almost all dutch that live there, and are untractable, so that if those they that live in Town, are affraid that their slaves may demand freedom after baptism, and

[f. 201a]

the Country people will certainly believe, that there is some other design upon them, besides bereaving depriving them of their slaves; so that I xx should have made an useless attempt, and whereas I have already told you Sr that I do not want for Catechumens in Town, altho' they do not send one a quarter of the slaves that there are here, yet their number increase from time to time; so that there remains nothing for me\to do/ \I have nothing to do/ but \earnestly/ to pray my Sweet redeemer to shower give his blessing to my poor \weak/ endeavors to the End that his glory may be more and more advanced, I take the Liberty to xx ask the help of your good prayers, desiring you to be persuaded that I am with a profound respect,

Hon[ore]d Sr
your most humble and
unworthy Servant,
E. Neau

[f. 202]

Mr Neau. New York
30 April 1706/7

Part of Collection

Citation

“Elias Neau to John Chamberlayne (Secretary) ,” Pastoral Care Archives: SPG Online Exhibition, accessed June 16, 2021, http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/exhibition/uspg/items/show/71.

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