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Eto Surry county, to Samuel Sebrell's; and thence to Robert Honicut's; had a meeting there, then to Curl's, up James-River; to Thomas and John Pleasant's, had a meeting there on a first day, and then to the Swamp and Cedar-creek; and so on to John Cheagle's.
We came to John Cheagle's the 20th of the fifth month, being the fifth day of the week; and, being unwilling to be idle on sixth and seventh days, (intending to have a meeting at his house on first day, I asked John if he could tell me where we could have meetings sixth and seventh days? He said he could; and accordingly he appointed one about three miles from his house, and another about six miles off; at which places we had good service: and then had a very large meeting at his house, on first day, which was, I hope, to pretty general satisfaction, to the religious part of the people. From thence we travelled to William Duff's, (John and another friend going with us), and had a meeting at their meeting-house; and afterwards. William went with us over Potomac river, as far as Piscataway, in Maryland. This river is computed to be near four miles over. When we were about the middle, there was a large swell in the river, so that our horses could not stand, and the motion of the boat made them fall down, and the boat having much water in it, being very leaky, she was near oversetting; they in the boat were in some concern and consternation, saying, when we came to the shore, that they did not remember that they were ever before in the like danger. And I apprehend we were in danger; and if the boat had overset, in all likelihood, we might all have been drowned. And I then thought I was in the service of Christ, my great master; and I also knew, I must die, and I thought I might as well die in his service as my own; so I gave up my life for Christ's sake, and he gave it to me again. Oh! may I, with all those who sincerely love him, serve him truly all our days, is my desire!
From Piscataway we travelled to Patuxent, to the famy of the Plummers, who were ten sons of one father and mother, and were convinced about the time I first
had meetings in those parts, and, so far as I know, they are all sober men.
After this meeting we went to Gerard Hopkins', and from thence to Patapsco, had a large meeting, the house being full before the friends came, so that they were hard set to get in; to me it was a good, seasonable opportunity, as was our next in the forest of Gunpowder river; where friends have built a new meeting-house, which, at this time, could not contain the people. From Gunpowder river we went to Bush-river, had a good, open meeting, and one at Deer-creek, and so over Susquehannah to Elihu Hall's.
At West-Nottingham I parted with my companion, he having about a day's travel home. I had two meetings on first day at the great meeting-house at West-Nottingham, which were very large, and Friends glad to see me once more: And after having meetings at Christiana-bridge, Wilmington, Center, and Kennet, went to the quarterly-meeting of ministers at Concord, and was there first and second day, and third day at Darby; all which were very large meetings, and friends were satisfied and comforted, and I was encouraged in the work and service of the gospel of Christ. From Darby I went home, having been abroad about four months, and rode, by computation, above eleven hundred miles, and was at about seventy meetings.
While I was on this journey, I had an account of the death of my dear and only brother, George Chalkley, a religious, prudent man; he died the 24th of the ninth month, 1737, near the seventieth year of his age, and left behind him a mournful widow and four daughters, all virtuous women.
When in Virginia, I wrote to those of our society at Opeckon, Shenandoah, &c. (many of whom went out of our province to settle in the government of Virginia) to the following effect.
TO FRIENDS OF THE MONTHLY-MEETING AT
"Virginia, at John Cheagle's, 21st 5th Mo. 1738.
"Dear Friends who inhabit Shenandoah and Opeckon,
"HAVING a concern for your welfare and prosperity both now and hereafter, and also the prosperity of your children, I had a desire to see you; but being in years, and heavy, and much spent and fatigued with my long journies in Virginia and Carolina, make it seem too hard for me to perform a visit in person to you; wherefore I take this way of writing to discharge my mind of what lies weightily thereon: and,
1st. I desire that you be very careful, (being far and back inhabitants), to keep a friendly correspondence with the native Indians, giving them no occasion of offence; they being a cruel and merciless enemy, where they think they are wronged or defrauded of their right, as woful experience hath taught, in Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, and especially in New-England, &c. and,
2d. As nature hath given them, and their forefathers, the possession of this continent of America, (or this wilderness), they had a natural right thereto, in justice and equity; and no people, according to the law of nature and justice, and our own principle, which is according to the glorious gospel of our dear and holy Lord Jesus Christ, ought to take away, or settle, on other men's lands or rights, without consent, or purchasing the same, by agreement of parties concerned; which, I suppose, in your case, is not yet done.
3d. Therefore my counsel and christian advice to you, is, my dear friends, that the most reputable among you, do, with speed, endeavour to agree with and purchase y our lands of the native Indians or inhabitants: take example of our worthy and honourable late proprietor, William Penn; who, by his wise and religious care, in that relation, hath settled a lasting peace and commerce
with the natives, and, through his prudent management therein, hath been instrumental to plant in peace, one of the most flourishing provinces in the world.
4th. Who would run the risque of the lives of their wives and children, for the sparing a little cost and pains? I am concerned to lay those things before you, under an uncommon exercise of mind, that your new and flourish. ing little settlement might not be laid waste, and, if the providence of the Almighty doth not intervene, some of the blood of yourselves, wives or children, be shed and spilt on the ground.
5th. Consider you are in the province of Virginia, holding what rights you have under that government; and the Virginians have made an agreement with the natives, to go as far as the mountains, but no farther; and you are over and beyond the mountains, therefore out of that agreement; by which you lie open to the insults and incursions of the southern Indians, who have destroyed many of the inhabitants of Carolina and Virginia, and even now have destroyed more on the like occasion. The English, going beyond the bounds of their agree ment, eleven of them were killed by the Indians while we were travelling in Virginia.
6th. If you believe yourselves to be within the bounds of William Penn's patent from King Charles II. which will be hard for you to prove, you being far to the southward of his line; yet, if done, that is of no consideration with the Indians, without a purchase of them; except you will go about to convince them by fire and sword, contrary to our principles; and, if that were done, they would ever be implacable enemies, and the land could never be enjoyed in peace.
7th. Please to note, that in Pennsylvania, no new set. tlements are made, without an agreement with the natives; as witness, Lancaster county, lately settled; though that is far within the grant of William Penn's pat ent from King Charles II. wherefore you lie open to insurrections of the northern as well as southern Indians.
And, lastly, thus having shewn my good will to you, and to your new little settlement, that you might sit every
one under your own shady tree, where none might make you afraid, and that you might prosper naturally and spiritually, you and your children; and having a little eased my mind of that weight and concern, in some measure, that lay upon me, I, at present, desist, and subscribe, in the love of our holy Lord Jesus Christ,
Your real Friend,
After my return from this journey, I stayed much at home that winter, travelling now being hard for me, so that I could not perform long journies as formerly, being more broken in the long and hard travelling in this journey, than in divers years before.
In the year 1739, I took several short or lesser journies, and had many meetings in divers places, as in Salem and Burlington counties, in West-Jersey, and Philadelphia, Chester and Bucks counties, in Pennsylvania, having many large and comfortable meetings, and some satisfactory service in divers of them.
This year the war broke out between Great-Britain and Spain; the Spaniards giving great occasion of offence to the British nation; notwithstanding which, King George II. sought to accommodate matters peaceably; but the crown of Spain not complying with the terms agreed on for an accommodation, therefore war was proclaimed; which occasioned much disturbance and distraction in our little peaceable province and government; war being destructive to life, health, and trade, the peace and prosperity of the people, and absolutely against the doctrine and practice of the Prince of life and peace, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; a great concern came on my mind to promote his doctrine; in order to which I was largely concerned to treat thereof in or at the general spring meeting at Philadelphia; with which service divers wise and pious people were well satisfied, though some were offended.