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In Convention of the Diocess of South-Carolina, Feb. 21, 1818.
Resolved, on motion of Mr. Brisbane, that all the Journals of this Convention be published in a Volume, by subscription; and that the President appoint a Committee of three, for the purpose of obtaining subscriptions to that end, and of superintending the publication. * “Whereupon the Rev. Dr. Dalcho, and Messrs. Brisbane and Bay, were appointed the Committee."
In presenting the following Publication to the members of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South-Carolina, it becomes me to state my inducements, for undertaking a larger work than was contemplated by the Convention, and, in some respects, different from the object of the above Resolution.
Several months elapsed before the early Journals of the Convention could be foupd. During my anxious and daily inquiries for these documents, the probable condition of earlier records of the Church, occurred to me. I was apprehensive that many interesting papers were lost, or in such a state, as to be scarcely, if at all, legible. I knew that the Journals of some of the Vestries were lost; that others were burnt or destroyed in the Revolution ; and others, from age and injury, were mouldering into dust. The records of the Commissary's Court are not now to be found, and other ecclesiastical documents are lost. These circumstances gave rise to the following reflections ::.
The history of every Institution connected with the happiness of man, is interesting to its members and friends. We love to trace the exertions, or wisdom, of its early founders, to examine the difficulties which they encountered, and to rejoice over the prospects that cheered them. How interesting then, is the history of the establishment and progress of the Church of Christ, as a mean of grace to a sinful World! How much more interesting than the march of ambition is the spread of the Redeemer's kingdom; than the conquest of nations, is the conversion of souls to God! And how much more interesting does it become in a new and unsettled country, where various causes operate to loosen the bands of religious education, and to give scope and influence to the vices and passions of our nature; where the restraints of religion are not at first easily imposed, and the moral law is either neglected or despised. Under these circumstances, the labours of Missionaries are always great, and oftentimes, from the extent of their Cures, fatiguing and dangerous. When to all these is added, the unhealthiness of the climate, it is deeply interesting to the Christian, to see these Men of God, struggling with sickness, yet faithful and persevering, until they are cut down, in the midst of their usefulness, and in the prime of life.
Before the Revolution, many of the inhabitants resided on their plantations, and the Clergy in their Cures, through the whole of the year. Many, however, soon fell victims to the climate; or carried about with them constitutions, broken down by repeated attacks of disease, and languishing under premature old age. As the country became more cleared, and a larger surface of swamp lands exposed to the influence of the Sun, the lower country became more delelerious of human existence. But few of the Planters now reside on their plantations during the sickly months. At the beginning of summer, they generally remove to the Pine-land settlements, or come to town, and Divine Service, in most of the Parish Churches, is suspended during that period.
Under these impressions, I undertook to collect and arrange, the materials for an Historical Account of the Church. The great objects were, to rescue from total loss, many records now in a state of decay, and, if possible, to discover and preserve those which might be interesting, if not important, to Episcopalians. The Work, however, must rather be considered as a Chronological arrangement of facts, connected with the Church in Carolina, than as an ecclesiastical history; as a record of events, rather than of principles and opinions.
It has been justly remarked by our faithful Historian, that, “ every day that minute local histories of these states are deferred, is an injury to posterity, for by means thereof, more of that knowledge which ought to be transmitted to them, will be irrecoverably
lost. »* He might likewise have added, that whoever possesses the means of enriching the stock of general information with useful, or interesting facts, and keeps them undisclosed, may justly be charged with this injury. Through the politeness of Mr. Watıs, Secretary of State, and Mr. Levy, the Treasurer, I have had access to official records, which preceding Historians have either not seen, or not examined. They contain some interesting particulars of the first settlement of Carolina, hitherto unpublished; and notwithstanding the History of the Church did not strictly require much of the early civil history of the Province, yet, as it was probable, that no historical work would soon be published, in which they might appear, I have recorded the most interesting in the following pages, to preserve them for some future historian.
The work having exceeded the size originally intended, by more than 100 pages, it was found impossible to give the Journals of the Convention entire. They have been shortened by omitting, generally, complimentary resolves to Preachers and Officers, repititions of the same Report, long reports of the Treasurer, Resolutions for printing Journals, &c.
The sources whence the materials for the following work are mostly drawn, are, Humphreys' History of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and some of their subsequent Abstracts; the Register of the Bishop of London's Commissary in Carolina, and other records belonging to the Church; the Journals of the Vestries; Hewatt's, Milligan's, and Ramsay's Histories of So. Ca. and the information of some of our old inhabitants. And I take this opportunity to offer my acknowledgments to the Vestries of St. Philip's; St. Michael's; ChristChurch; St. John's, 'Berkley ; St. John's, Colleton; St. Thomas and St. Dennis; St. Andrew's; Prince George, Winyaw; St. James', Santee; St. James', Goose-Creek, and St. Bartholomew's, for allowing me the use of their Journals, and likewise to many other Gentlemen, who have very obligingly furnished me with much interesting information.
* Ramsay's So. Ca. I. Preface, 7.
27. Of the Church, . .
In the year 1662, certain noblemen applied to Charles the Second, for a Grant of an extensive territory in North-America. They alleged that they were influenced by a desire to enlarge his dominions, and by " zeal for the propagation of the Christian faith in a country not yet cultivated or planted, and only inhabited by some barbarous People, who had no knowledge of God." . A Charter was granted by the King on the 24th of March, 1662-3, to Edward, Earl of Clarendon, Lord Chancellor; George, Duke of Albermarle; William, Lord Craven; John, Lord Berkley; Anthony, Lord Ashley, afterwards Earl of Shaftsbury; Sir George Carteret; Sir William Berkley; and Sir John Colleton, their Heirs and Successors; creating them absolute Lords and Proprietors of all the territory