As important to the religious life of South Carolina as Rev. William Screven's group, was the Welsh Neck Church, the second center of Baptist influence in the province. White settlement was slow in South Carolina from 1696 to 1730, and to encourage more rapid expansion the crown adopted a township system and offered land under the most encouraging conditions. The easy terms and other circumstances attracted the Welsh in Pennsylvania (in the Welsh Tract of Delaware), some of whom came to investigate the suitability of the province for their settlement. David Lewis, Samuel Wild, and Daniel James presented their petition and a colony soon followed upon the promise of exclusive possession of a large tract partly in Queensborough Township on the Great Peedee River. A number of the Welsh came in 1736, and many soon settled in the bend of the river opposite the present village of Society Hill, called James's Neck in 1738. This was desirable land for raising hemp, flax, etc., and practically all of the Welsh Neck, as this section came to be called, was soon granted.1
In January, 1738, thirty of the Welsh settlers constituted a Baptist Church at first called Peedee, but later named Welsh Neck. The religious group to which these Pennsylvania Welsh belonged had begun its organized religious life in 1701 as they were leaving Wales; they planted their church at the Welsh Tract in Pennsylvania (later Delaware), and of this body Peedee or Welsh Neck Church was in effect an arm, though the members had been dismissed before coming to South Carolina. Entries in the Welsh Tract minutes show their dismissal. "Our brothron and sisters whos names are as followeth Abel Morgan teaching Elder (Abel Morgan is returned) James James, Ruling Elder Thomas Evan, Deacon Daniel James Samuel Miles [Wilds] John Harry John Harry Junior Thomas Harry Jeremiah Rowel Richard Barrow Thomas Money Nathaniel Evan Mary James Annie Evan Sarah James Mary Wilds Elizabeth Harry Eleanor Jenkin Sarah Harry Margaret William Mary Rowel Sarah Barrow, are removed to Carolina and was recommended by a letter to ye church of Christ in Charles Town or elsewhere in South Carolina, or they might constitute themselves into a church form [sic] us Nov 1735. Our brother Samuel Evan and his wife Mary Ann Evan was recommended unto our christian friends on pedee in South Carolina April 30, 1737. Our brethren and sisters whose names are here set down, were recommended unto the care of our christian friends on pedee in South Carolina Daniel Devonald Thomas James David Harry Philip James David James Abol James Simon Persons Mary Boulton Catherine Harry Elizabeth James Elizabeth Jones Elinor James Mary Hugh November 4, 1737. Our brother John Jones and his wife Ann Jones who were members of our communion are removed and recommended to our christian friends on Pedee in South Carolina by a letter March 11, 1738. Our sisters Ales Thomas and Jane David and Mary Dovenald are ecommended by letter to our christian friends on Peedee in South Carolina November 3, 1739. Our brothron and sisters whos names are as followeth Abel Morgan, son and Walter Down Elizabeth Jones Lettis Douglas Rachel Alison Rachel Downs was recommended and dismissed by a letter to our sister church on Pee Dee river in South Carolina Nov ye 1st, 1741."2 A leader among them, James James, Esq., was a man of some wealth, with three sons in the Welsh Neck group.3
Their meetings in South Carolina were held for a time at the house of John Jones, whose first survey was made in 1738 on James's Neck. Mr. Jones brought with him a Welsh concordance of the Bible by Abel Morgan which was probably used in the meetings at his home, showing the congregation's use of their native language after they came to the Peedee.4 It was in this period that an Anglican missionary wrote of finding an "ignorant set of Anabaptists" in the Cheraws settlement, who, in 1745, were "so possessed of the spirit of enthusiasm that there are about as many ignorant preachers as there were in Oliver's Camp."5 Several may have preached, but there is evidence of only one ordination during the time, that of Philip James,6 which was carried out on April 4, 1743, by Messrs. Chanler and Simmons, of Ashley River and Charleston, Mr Chanler preaching the ordination sermon. The first meeting house was built in 1744.7
Contemporary with part of the pastorate of Rev. Philip James was that of Rev. John Brown, whose ordination occurred May 7, 1750, sometime before the death of Mr. James. Mr. Brown appears to have caused uneasiness in the church in 1747 because of the opinions he disseminated with regard to such matters as the first resurrection, the last judgment, and the degrees of glory in heaven, imaginings which seemed unorthodox to his congregation, and though he was not publicly condemned, this probably had much to do with the shortness of his pastorate.8 Rev. Joshua Edwards, ordained May, 1752, had the care of the church for about six years.9 Nothing unusual occurred during his ministry.
An interesting case of the administration of discipline by the Baptists of the period came about as a result of differences between the Welsh Neck Church and Rev. Robert Williams,10 whose ministry was largely contemporary with that of Mr. Edwards August 9th, 1759: The Revd Mr. Williams applied for liberty to absent himself from the Lord' Table, and Church Meetings, which the Church thought would be irregular to grant, -- and being credibly informed that he charges them with such crimes as to prevent his communion, two messengers were sent to desire him to appear the next monthly meeting, that the Church may either be convinced of their faults, or vindicate their innocence, and the order of God's House. They also sent to recall their Letter of Dismission granted him formerly, upon his declaring his intention to remove. … Octr. 6th, 1759: The Church being informed by two credible witnesses, that the Rev Mr. Williams disowns himself a member, and says that it is not a Church of Christ, and his disorderly actions speaking the same; it was agreed to send him a letter of admonition in the spirit of meekness. … Jany 5th, 1760: The messengers which were sent to Mr. Williams (vide Octr 6th) having informed the Church that he refused to read their letter, and that he cast the greatest contempt upon their message, they still being unwilling to use severity, and desirous to win him by Kindness, concluded to send him another letter of admonition. … Febry 2nd: Mr. Williams refusing to receive the letter sent him by the Church a second time, and professedly disowning the Church's authority, he was suspended. Both Mr. Williams and his wife were repeatedly admonished during the remainder of 1760, but without effect, for on January 4, 1761, "Mr. Williams and his wife being regardless of the Church's admonition sent as above the Church ordered them to be ejected and this was done."11
However, the church had not waited for Mr. Williams’ settlement of his spiritual differences with them, for early in March, 1759, it was decided As Mr. Williams could not give proper attendance to his office, the Church unanimously presented a call to the Revd. Mr. Nicholas Bedgegood of Charleston to minister to them in the word and ordinances of the Gospel, for the term of one year, which call he accepted. On March 8th of the next year, "The Church gave Mr Bedgegood a call to the pastoral care of them, which he accepted for the term of time during which divine Providence may render it his duty to remain among them." A list of members of the Welsh Neck Church taken March 12, 1759, when this temporary call was issued to Mr. Bedgegood included about sixty-six names.12 during the first year of Mr. Bedgegood's regular pastorate, on August 2, 1760, these members drew up a covenant which is an excellent example of what the Baptists believe to be their relations to God and to each other.13 How well they kept to the article of the covenant requiring a jealous watchfulness over each other’s conduct is plain from every page of the church book of this period. June 1, 1760, an inquiry was directed to be made why one of the female members "doth not live with her husband." John Booth, suspended from the communion of the Church for "quarreling with his neighbour, and using profane language," on August 2, 1760,made application to be restored to his place, and giving a clear verbal account of his repentance & as nothing could be laid to his charge since his suspension, the Church could not fairly reject him; but as some circumstances gave them occasion to be jealous over him, lest he was deceiving himself, they informed him of it, and left it to his own conscience to judge for himself whether it would be best to take his place, or to remain as he is till he has farther examined his heart. Upon which he concluded to delay for that purpose. It was not until April 4, 1761, that "John Booth, giving the Church farther satisfaction as to his repentance, he is to take his place to-morrow, upon a public acknowledgement of his humiliation for his crimes." April 5, 1760, "James James was suspended for beating his neighbour." One of the ladies, suspended in 1761 on "suspicion of her having been guilty of very abusive language," but restored upon its being found not "so bad as was represented," was again "privately suspended," June 4, 1763, "upon an apprehension that she lives in wilful separation from her husband." Sundry members who had "walked disorderly" gave satisfaction; one accused of plundering promised restitution; Mary Walsh, having entered herself as a scholar in a dancing school, desired to have her name erased from the church book and was excommunicated. Murder, adultery, theft, swearing, and drunkenness constituted grounds for excommunication, according to a decision of 1783, and the church book shows excommunications for adultery, for immorality and apostacy, and for marrying a man whose wife was living. One of the most interesting attempts to control the relations of church members appears in a decision made in 1787 "that agreeably to the world of God it is not right that one member should sue another."14 The church records are inadequate for estimating the effect of this rule. Mr. Bedgegood, at his own request, was on March 2, 1765, dismissed to the Charleston Church. Failing to secure the services of Rev. Oliver Hart, the Welsh Neck congregation was without a pastor until January 4, 1766, when Rev. Evan Pugh accepted their call.15 During his pastorate two members were excommunicated, and the public notice of this action is given as typical of the procedure in such cases.1766 Octr. 4th: Whereas Philip Howel & William James have for a long time past been suspended from the Communion of this Church, they still persistingin a course of life contrary to the rules of the Gospel, and of this Church, notwithstanding all necessary and Gospel methods have been made use of to reclaim them; therefore the Church have thought it proper and necessary to cut them off from this Body. Pursuant to this conclusion, we now make it known to all that they are no longer members of this Body. May the Lord grant that, this ordinance may be the means to bring them to a sense of their evilways and to a timely repentance-and to stir-up each of us to watch and be sober lest we enter into temptation.16 In 1766, the Church having been long in a declining state Brother Abel Wilds desired the opinion of the Church as to what they thought the cause of such declension was. Upon consideration, it was the unanimous opinion, that it was curving to the general dislike of Mr, Pugh. This being the opinion of the Church, it was then moved, that it might be considered whether it would be more for the Glory of God for Mr. Pugh to continue our Minister, or to remove to some other place.
After some days given to the careful consideration of this question, the Church unanimously decided that it would be "most conducive to the Honor of God and the Welfare of the Church for Mr. Pugh to remove. He accuiesced in their opinion and received a recommendatory letter." No indication is given as to the cause of this general dislike of Mr. Pugh. Later events give rise to the speculation whether it had anything to do with the Regulator movement.17
Mr. Nicholas Bedgegood, then preaching on James Island, a branch of the Charleston Church, received a second call to the Welsh Neck Church on March 7, 1767, and returned to that charge on April 12th of the same year.18 In 1772 there were eighty families in the neighborhood with some forty members baptized and in the communion of the Welsh Neck Church.19 Mr. Elhanan Winchester, Mr. Bedgegood's successor, wrote in the church book February 1, 1774 (the year of Mr. Bedgegood's death): The Revd Mr. Nicholas Bedgegood died near fifteen years after his first call to this place; and almost seven years after his return, from which time he ministered here till his death … yet … he was never very successful, especially in the latter part of his life; none being baptized after his return.20 The Welsh Neck Church went cautiously about the choice of a new pastor. Mr. Winchester preached for them a short while in 1775, then received appointment for a year on March 8, 1776, before he was permanently accepted. There was talk of his leaving November 10, 1776, but after discussion of calls to other ministers, the church was still in Mr. Winchester's charge March 15, 1778, and the call to him was renewed July 3, 1779, with the proviso that he might depart at any time if he desired. Converts were numbered by the hundreds during his ministry, in the last year of which he baptized twohundred and forty persons into the membership of the church.21 The negroes he constituted into a separate church. He was repaid full measure for his criticism of Mr. Bedgegood by his successor, Mr. Edmund Botsford, who entered a note in the church book to the effect that A great many of those baptized by Mr. Winchester have been excommunicated both white and black; but the greater number of blacks. Many of the latter upon examination appeared to be very ignorant of the nature of true religion. As Mr. Winchester later preached universal salvation in Philadelphia, it has been assumed that his carelessness in inquiring into the religious experiences of his converts was due to his having dropped from his creed the principle of election.22
Having preached several times there, Rev. Edmund Botsford took on himself the care of the Welsh Neck Church in November, 1779, shortly after the departure of Mr. Winchester. The approach of the British armies caused him to leave the State in June, 1780, and he was not recalled to his church until 1782. During his absence Rev. Joshua Lewis and Rev. John Thomas preached to the congregation.23 The period 1779-1782 was probably the most trying in the history of the Welsh Neck Church. It is claimed that of the two hundred and twenty white members in 1779, only forty-eight were left in 1793; this depletion was due in part to the constitution of a church at Cheraw Hill and in part to the fact that no new members were added by baptism in the first four years of the period.24 As Mr. Botsford wished to be relieved of the care of the separate negro church, the negro members who so desired, were examined in April, 1782, and received among the white congregation.25
During this period the church covenant, which was read at every monthly meeting, was revised by a committee consisting of Abel Edwards, John David, and Evander McIver, as it appeared to the church "to be deficient in some things." Saturday, July 2, 1785, was set apart as a day of solemn prayer and for signing the covenant. During the year, Mr. Botsford gave eight weeks of his time to the Charleston Church which wrote to thank Welsh Neck for his services.26 During that year in Charleston, and in 1790 in Welsh Neck, a revival took place under Mr. Botsford’s ministry. The movement was initiated and promoted by Monday evening monthly meetings in prayer to God for a revival. Of one of these, Mr. Botsford says, It was a day of great things … A blessed work is begun … several are converted-a great number under conviction-children crying out what must we do to be saved? Old grey-headed hardened sinners are bowed down … I have lately been from house to house praying, exhorting and preaching ten times a week … I baptized eleven on Lord's day the twenty-second [Aug., 1790] …Two other churches, the one above and the other below us on the river have also had additions, indeed the work spreads all around.27 In the course of this revival thirty were baptized into communion with Welsh Neck. Negro additions must have been large, for a committee, consisting of Edmund Botsford, Abel Edwards, John David, Enoch Evans, Sr., Thos. Evans, Enoch Evans, Jr., and Evander McIver, was appointed to hear the experience of the negroes and settle any matters among them.28 In May, 1793, Rev. John Gano visited the church; in October occurred the death of Deacon Abel Edwards and a severe illness of the pastor.29 Mr. Botsford having announced his intention of leaving June 4, 1796, the church wrote for supplies. Rev. David Lilly preached several times, as did Rev. Evan Pugh and Rev. David Cooper. The last agreed to attend Welsh Neck monthly, while on April 21, 1798, Rev. David Lilly consented to take charge of the church for a year. The church book contains no records from November 2, 1798, to July 2, 1803. In that time Brother Lilly left, and the church removed its place of worship to Society Hill,30 under the care of Rev. Frame Woods.
The deacons appointed by Welsh Neck Church were, in 1775 Colonel George Hicks and Abel Wilds; in 1777 Abel Edwards; in 1778 William Terrell, Jr.; in 1781 John David, Magnus Cargill, and Thomas Lide; in 1794 Evander McIver; and in 1804 Samuel Evans. The church chose in 1786 a group of trustees consisting of Edmund Botsford, Abel Edwards. Josiah Evans, John David, Enoch Evans, Evander McIver, Thomas Evans, Enoch Evans, Jr., Jesse Evans, and Abel Goodwin. Upon the death of Josiah Evans, Samuel Evans took his place, and in 1796 Macky McNatt, Martin Dewitt, and Joseph Jones replaced deceased trustees.31 These officers, together with special appointees, carried out business of many sorts. Abel Wilds and Thomas Evans were sent as delegates to the meeting to discuss religious liberty held at High Hills of Santee in April, 1776, and Rev. Mr. Winchester drew up a statement regarding the subject.32 The church owned a library, how large it is impossible to judge, since the result of the cataloguing done by Rev. Edmund Botsford and Deacon Abel Edwards in 1782 does not appear in the church book. Rev. Joshua Lewis borrowed some of the books, and it was found difficult to secure their return.33 After the formation of the General Committee of the Charleston Association, Welsh Neck showed commendable zeal in contributions and in membership.34 On April 21, 1798, the church "Resolved to continue to subscribe for 18 numbers of the Baptist Register."35 Members and officers took keen interest in St. David's Society and Academy.36
Welsh Neck in 1772 had no settled income, and paid only four hundred pounds currency to the minister.37 Mr. Winchester was allowed to preach at Cheraw Hill once in three Sundays on condition that the church at the Hill "do their part toward his support."38 John David and Evander McIver, appointed in1786 to settle bequests made about 1780, reported that Thomas James's legacy of one hundred pounds currency was worth six shillings nine pence sterling, and ten thousand pounds currency left by Josiah James amounted to twenty-eight pounds sterling. A bond given by Thomas Evans for the latter was made a fund not to be used for a year.39 Subscriptions were raised for such purposes as printing Rev. Henry Holcombe’s association sermon and for "a few useful pamphlets, to bestow gratuitously to those who have it not in their power to purchase." An entry giving the following prices: "The two front Seats are £ 3. Mr. McIntosh's at £ 6," proves that the church secured part of its revenue from pew rent in 1792.40 The church book mentions legacies left by Abel Edwards, Dr. James P. Wilson, and Josiah Evans; receipt for bond for one hundred pounds sterling given October 4, 1794, shows the amount of Abel Edwards' legacy but there is no record of the amount of the others. An agreement made in 1795 to lend Rev. Edmund Botsford one hundred pounds sterling for one year and to give him the interest due on the church's funds was not carried out so far as the loan was concerned, but the gift of interest was apparently made. Deacon Evander McIver later borrowed one hundred pounds sterling. The church agreed to raise what they conveniently could by subscription for Rev. David Cooper's attendance on the second Saturday and Sunday of the month,41 and board was arranged for Brother Lilly and his family. After 1800, much charity appears upon the books.42 Welsh Neck made several changes in its church building and site. Beside the building of 1744 on the east side of the river, mentioned as still standing in 1772, a new one, forty-five by thirty feet, was erected in 1769 on a two-acre lot given by Daniel Devonald.43 Mrs. Kolb added two acres to the lot in 1782. There was evidently some delay with regard to the title and boundaries of the church lands, for Thomas Evans was requested in 1787 to have the titles of land given by Mr[s?] Kolb proved and recorded, while on April 1, 1789, Abel Edwards, Abel Goodwin, Enoch Evans, and Evander McIver were appointed "to enquire of Capt. Dewitt the boundary of the Land on which the Meeting House stands, and to report to the next meeting."44 In September, 1791, the church leased a tract of land from Benjamin Kolb, administrator of the estate of Colonel Abel Kolb, but for what purpose is not stated.45 A committee consisting of Abel Edwards, John David, Macky McNatt, Enoch Evans, and Evander McIver, appointed July 31, 1790, to estimate the expense of repairing the meeting house and inclosing the graveyard, reported, September 4, 1790, that it was necessary to havenew Sills, and the House raised on pillars of brick; and a new Pulpit. To have the stairs of the Gallery removed, and a shed the length of the House, for the use of the negroes and a good board and post fence around the burying ground. All of this was to cost one hundred twenty pounds sterling.46 The repaired building was evidently used until removal of the church to Society Hill. For this move subscriptions were solicited in 1798, and it was effected shortly after.47 The lot of two acres at Society Hill is said to have been given by Captain William Dewitt, titles to the property being recorded in 1798 by Evander McIver.48 The new meeting housewas a plain, substantial, square building without a porch in front, but with a large addition on one side the whole length of the building for the use of the negroes. It was divided from the larger part by a low wall about as high as the banks of the pews with an aisle extending from their side entrance to an open door into the main auditorium. The church was nicely furnished inside, with walls ceiled and neat pews. An aisle in the middle and one on each side led back to the pulpit and lower platform with its reading desk on one side. Several of the pews were square with seats on three sides. … The pulpit was a high one with a flight of steps on each side and doors which closed. The seat could. accommodate two ministers, possibly three. … A “sounding board” was over the pulpit.49 As a fitting conclusion to the history of Welsh Neck, something should be said of the broad and tolerant spirit which characterized many of its decisions on questions of practice and doctrine. In 1746 Mr. Brown and Mr. Williams opposed laying on of hands; the congregation decided "That if any desired it, it should be practiced;" about the same time ruling elders were neglected but never opposed.50 A majority of the church voted that "ordination consists in the people's choice of a member to office, and his acceptance of the same, and needeth not the imposition of hands to make it valid."51 The church, April 4, 1761, agreed to admit persons who had merely been sprinkled if they could satisfy the members as to their real conversion, but if at any time they showed any tendency to apostatize from the truth, they were to be debarred from communion. On May 2, Alexander McIntosh and Roderick McIver were admitted upon confession of faith and experience of godliness after signing the covenant. It is claimed, however, that the church soon returned to the strict Baptist position on this point.52 Close communion, for a time not practiced, was resumed July 4, 1761. There is sympathetic consideration for the shy and sensitive souls among them in their decision to allow persons who found it difficult to give their religious experience before the whole congregation to "relate it to the minister and a few others and have them relate it to the Church."53 Equally humane was their conclusion in 1765 no longer to practice public suspension.54 The church records after 1782 show a tendency to leave the crime unstated and to designate sinners as "incorrigible." The facts support the tradition still extant in the Peedee that the Welsh Neck Church in its earlier days was more Arminian than Calvinistic in its beliefs and practices.The act of incorporation, passed March 17, 1785, names the "Baptist Church at the Welsh-Neck on Peedee River," with no hint, of course, of how far its influence ranged beyond the Welsh Neck.55 Its ministers preached or assisted weak congregations up and down the river; its people left it to aid in forming other Baptist groups; its descendants covered the Peedee section with such churches as Catfish, Mars Bluff, Cashaway, Beauty Spot, Lynches Creek, Cheraw Hill, and many others.56 These were separated from Welsh Neck to form new organizations which in turn developed branches in different directions; other churches of the Peedee were connected with it only by the slender bonds of tradition or of pastoral aid; while still others were sporadic growths with no apparent relation to any of the Welsh Neck group. ___________________
1 Alexander Gregg, History of the Old Cheraws … (New York, 1867), pp. 42-52; Edwards, Crozer MS, pp. 50, 53; Furman MS, pp. 16-18; both Gregg and Edwards state that the Welsh settled first at Catfish, and then moved up the river to the Welsh Neck; R. L. Meriwether, Expansion of South Carolina (MS in preparation, Columbia), shows there was no general removal; Plats, IV.
2 Records of the Welsh Tract Baptist Meeting … 1716 to 1828, Pts. I and II (Wilmington, 1904), 1, 83-86; Gregg, Cheraws, pp. 52, 59; Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 50; Welsh Neck Church Book (MS, church clerk, Society Hill), 1738-1798; Morgan Edwards, "Materials towards a History of the Baptists in Pennsylvania," in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, IX, (1885), 45; the list of constituents as given by Edwards is; James James, Esq., his wife and sons Abel, Daniel, Phillip, and their wives; David James and wife; Daniel Devonald and wife, two named Thomas Evans and their wives; Samuel Evans and wife; John Jones and wife; Thomas and David Harry, John Harry and wife; Samuel Wilds and wife; the list in Welsh Neck CB adds Griffith Jones and wife, the wives of Thomas and David Harry, and in place of David James has David Jones; Edwards gives 1741 as the year the Welsh moved up the river, the churchbeing constituted after the removal; Philip James, Daniel Devonald, David Harry, Thomas Evans (2), Griffith John, David James, and John Jones were among Welsh inhabitants who in 1743 presented a petition pleading their poverty and asking that their lands be granted free of all charges for surveying, etc.; Abel, Daniel, Philip, and David James, Daniel Devonald, Thomas Evans (2), John Jones, Griffith Jones, David Harry had surveys before 1743 which they did not take up; the elder James James was a justice of the peace in Pa; he is said to have died one year after arrival; a plat surveyed for Philip Douglas in 1742 mentions lands "Pitched on by Mr, James," and plats of 1738 show that the Welch Neck was called James's Neck at that time, but no plats for James James appear on the plat books; David James had a survey of 400 acres in 1738 in the Welsh Tract in James's Neck west on the Peedee and north on Daniel Dovenal's (Devonald or Dovenald) land; Abel James 300 acres on the northeast side of Peedee in the Welsh Tract in Prince George Winyah In 1738; Daniel James in 1742 350 acres west on Peedee, north on David Harry's land in the Welsh Tract, Prince George Winyah, and 100 acres west on Peedee and north on his own land in Prince George Winyah, Thomas Evans 490 acres in the Welch Tract in James’s Neck west 1741 and later surveys; David Harry 400 acres in Queensborough Township in 1738, 125 acres west on Peedee and north on D. Harry's land in 1742, another 125 acres in 1742 west on Peedee in the Welsh Tract in Prince George Winyah, and 150 acres in 1745 west on Peedee in the Welsh Tract; the first plat found for John Harry was of 475 acres in 1762 in Prince George Winyah; Thomas Harry 150 acres in 1738 In Prince George Winyah southwest on Peedee; Griffith Jones 300 acres in 1738 in Queensborough Township touching lands of Thomas James; John Jones 250 acres in 1738 on James's Neck west on Peedee in the Welsh Tract or "New Camberarer" 100 acres west on Peedee north on his own land in the Welsh Tract, Prince George Winyah, in 1741, and 500 acres in the Welsh Tract Prince George Winyah in 1742, and several later surveys (Plats, IV, 188, 190, 198, 204, 191, 200, 206, 207, 145, 199, 201, 435; VII, 262; IV, 145, 471, 112, 202, 197); no plats before 1770 were found for Daniel Devonald, Samuel Evans or Samuel Wilds.
3 Gregg, Cheraws, p. 52; Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 52; "Pennsylvania Materials," in Pa, Mag. Hist, and Biog., IX (1885), 45.
4 Ibid., Crozer MS, pp. 49, 52, Furman MS, pp. 17, 19, 20; Harvey Toliver Cook, Life and Legacy of David Rogerson Williams (New York, 1916), p. 31; Abel Morgan, Cyd-gordiad Egwyddorawl o'r Scrythurau … (Philadelphia, 1730).
5 Fordyce to the SPG, Dec. 2, 1742, Oct. 23, 1743, Nov. 4, 1745, quoted in Harvey Toliver Cook, Rambles in the Pee Dee Basin, South Carolina (Columbia, 1926), p. 157.
6 Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 52, Furman MS, pp. 19, 20; Furman, Charleston Assoc., p. 70: Historical Sketch of the Welsh Neck Baptist Church … (Greenville, S. C., 1889), p. 7, note: Rev. Philip James was born in 1701 near Pennepec, Pa.; he was licensed to preach at the Welsh Tract Church, but was ordained on Apr. 4, 1743, in S. C., to which he came in 1737, being made pastor of Peedee or Welsh Neck Church at the time of his ordination; he was a man of great spirituality, given to heavenly visions after the death of a beloved child; he married Elizabeth Thomas, and had three sons, Daniel, James, and Philip, living in 1772; a conveyance of Mar. 1762, of Daniel James describes him as "son & heir of ye Reverend Philip James deceased of the Welch Tract in ye County of Craven" (Charleston County, R M C, Deeds 1-4, p. 49); Rev. Philip James had two surveys in 1740, the first southwest on Peedee in the Welsh Tract, Prince George Winyah of 250 acres, the second of 100 acres west on Peedee touching Mr. Thomas Evans of Spring Garden on the north (Plats IV, 195-259); he also purchased land in 1751, being designated as Philip James, Minister of the Gospel; he died on Jan. 31, 1754, and is buried in the old Welsh Neck graveyard on the east of the river; the following sermon was preached at his ordination; "The Qualifications of a Gospel Minister for and Duty in studying rightly to divide the Word of Truth. And the Duty of those who do partake of the Benefit of his Labours towards him, fully, plainly and impartially represented in Two Sermons on 2 Timothy 2:15. Preached at the ordination of the Reverend Philip James, at the Welsh Tract, on Pee Dee River in South Carolina, April 4, 1743. With some illustrations and enlargements. By Isaac Chanter, Minister of ye Gospel. Published at the Unanimous and Earnest Request of Both Minister and People." Now at Crozer Theological Seminary.
7 Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 53; this date is not given in Furman MS, p. 17.
8 Ibid., Crozer MS, pp. 53, 56; Furman MS, p. 21; Furman, Charleston Assoc., p 70; Hist. Sketch Welsh Neck, p. 7; Gregg, Cheraws, p. 64; W. C. Allen, History of the Pee Dee Baptist Association (Dillon, S. C., 1924), pp. 88-93; Rev, John Brown was born Aug. 20, 1714, near Burlington, N. J., was brought up at Frankfort near Philadelphia; he came to the Welsh Neck in 1737, where he was baptized and called to the ministry, being ordained May 7, 1750; he married Sarah Newberry, and left children Mercy, Sarah, Martha Elizabeth, Samuel, Mary, and Jesse; he preached throughout the region for many years without a pastorate; Brownsville is said to have been named in his honor; it was probably he who had a survey of 600 acres onPeedee in 1734; 251 acres in Prince Frederick north of "Odochone" In 1736; 300 acres bounded southwest on Peedee in the Welsh Tract in Prince George Winyah in 1742, 450 acres of similar location in 1749; and others on Muddy Creek and in the Welsh Tract (Plats, II, pp. 7, 8, 80; IV, 314, 320; V, 49, 382; VII, 209; XI, 28; XIII, 501); he was living in Cheraws District with eight slaves in 1790 (Census, p. 48).
9 Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 52; Furman MS, pp. 21, 22: Benedict, Baptist History, II, 132; Furman, Charleston Assoc., pp. 70, 71; Gregg, Cheraws, p. 82; Hist. Sketch Welsh Neck, p. 7; Cashaway CB, 1758-1761, passim: Rev. Joshua Edwards was born Feb. 11, 1704, in Pembrokeshire, South Wales; came to the Welsh Tract, Pa., in 1709; was baptized in 1721; removed to S.C., in 1749; was ordained at Welsh Neck in May, 1752, where he served as pastor until 1758; he then served as pastor of Cashaway Church for about three years, after which he was dismissed to Catfish Church on Sept, 27, 1761, where he remained until 1768; he then had no regular pastorate, but preached until his death on Aug. 22, 1784; he married first Catherine Stephens by whom he had Thomas, Mary, Joshua, Phoebe, Sarah, Rachel, and Abel; second Tamas Parr by whom he had Henry, John, Elisha, Sarah and Pheobe; he had a survey of 150 acres in 1757 and another in the same amount in 1763 on Catfish Creek, with possibly 89 acres in the same region in 1752 (Plats, VII, 372; XIV, 532; V, 314; Memorials, VI, 224; XI, 320).
10 Welsh Neck CB, pp. 3-10, passim; Gregg, Cheraws, pp. 64, 65; Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 51; Furman MS, p. 22; Hist. Sketch Welsh Neck, p. 7; Benedict, Baptist History, II, 132; Cook, Williams, p. 44; Memorials VI, 360; Rev. Robert Williams was born Dec. 20, 1717, at Northhampton, N. C.; he came to Peedee in 1745, where he was ordained on Sept. 30, 1752, by Rev. Messrs. Philip James and John Brown; he married Anne Boykin, by whom he had David, Celta, Jehu, Mary, and Anne; he was strongly Calvinistic and influential in the bringing of many N. C. Baptists to the regular position; he died Apr. 8, 1768, a funeral sermon being preached by Rev. Evan Pugh from John XI: 11, 12; his will was probated in Charleston in Dec., 1768 (Wills 1765-1769. p. 440); Gov. David Rogerson Williams was his grandson; Charleston Assoc. later adjusted his differences with Welsh Neck.
11 Welsh Neck CB, pp. 3-20, passim.
12 Ibid., pp. 2, 3, 4.
13 Ibid., pp. 5, 6.
14 Ibid., pp. 5-37, passim.
15 Ibid., p. 12.
16 Ibid., p. 13.
17 Ibid., p. 14; Pugh's Diary indicates some activity at Regulator meetings a year or two later; Gregg, Cheraws, pp. 151, note; 102, 45-66, note; Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 56; Furman MS, p. 38; Furman, Charleston Assoc., pp. 79, 80; Rev. Evan Pugh was born at Matachin, Pa., April. 2, 1729 (Edwards gives 1732), but removed to Winchester, Va., as a boy where he learned practical surveying under George Washington; though bred a Quaker, he was converted to Baptist principles while teaching in N. C., in 1754; removing to S. C. in 1762, he first studied at Welsh Neck, then was taken under the patronage of the Charleston Association and the Religious Society, after which he studied with Mr. Hart, Mr. Pelot, and others he was licensed to preach at Euhaw on June 5, 1763, ordained by Messrs. Hart, Stephens and Pelot on Nov. 22, 1764; his first call was to Welsh Neck on Jan. 4, 1766, then on Dec. 26, 1766, he accepted a call to Cashaway Church, where he served until his death, at the same time preaching throughout the Peedee section; he had a survey of 300 acres touching Jacob Kolb, Samuel Burton and Mr. Blake in 1770, and he was living in Cheraws District with 17 slaves in 1790 (Plats, XI, 436; Census, p 49); he was an active member of the Charleston Association, a member of the S.C. constitutional convention of 1790; Rhode Island College conferred on him the A. M. degree; his sermon "Ministers, Fellow-Workers with Christ," preached before the Charleston Association, Nov. 2, 1767, was published; he also preached a sermon at Darlington C. H. on the death of Washington from 2 Timothy 3:7, 8; he married Martha McGee, by whom he had James, Ezra, and Elizabeth; he was buried in "Pugh Field," apparently the old Black Creek churchyard, close to the creek and a few miles above Darlington; his son Ezra is buried by him; his epitaph is as follows:
"Sacred! to the Memory of
Born Apr. 2d, 1729,
Died Dec. 26, 1802.
For forty years an approved,
acceptable Preacher of the
Gospel of peace.br> Of the Baptist denomination,
the first beneficiary of the Char-
Intelligence, benignity, charity,
benevolence, hospitality, candor, piety,
all were his. (verse).
The following is a copy of the certificate of ordination of Rev. Evan Pugh, the original being in possession of Rev, R. W. Lide, of Greenville, S. C., and a Photostatic copy at the University of S. C,: These are to Certify, That the Reverend Mr. Evan Pugh after having given sufficient Proof of his gifts and acquirements was regularly called by the Church at Euhaw in South Carolina and ordained to the work of the Ministry by us the Subscribers on Thursday the Twenty second of November one thousand seven hundred and sixty four. Francis Pelot V. D. M., O, Hart V. D. M., John Stephens V. D. M.
18 Welsh Neck CB, p. 14.
18 Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 50.
20 Ibid., p. 51; Furman MS, p. 23; Welsh Neck CB, p. 16; Furman, Charleston Assoc., pp. 75, 76; "Hart's Diary", in YBC, 1896, p. 380: Rev. Nicholas Bedgegood was born on Jan. 30, 1731, at Thornbury, Gloucestershire, Eng., "bred a churchman," he came to the Georgia Orphan House, where he is said to have been converted to Baptist principles by reading Dr. Watts' treatise on Infant baptism; he was baptized July 19, 1757, called to the ministry at Charleston Church, Mar. 19, 1758, and ordained Feb. 26 (Feb. 1?), 1759, by Messrs Oliver Hart, Francis Pelot, and John Stephens, being soon after called as pastor of Welsh Neck Church; he preached on James Island 1765-67, after which he returned to Welsh Neck, where he remained until his death in January, 1774. "Mr. Bedgegood had attended grammar school at Tethrington, studied law at Bristol, and was a classical scholar and an accomplished speaker. He married in England Mary Weston, who, he claimed, would not accompany him to America. Upon hearing a report of her death, "he married Mary Murphey. … It appears that the report of his first wife's death was false; he was summoned before the Association to answer the charge, but did not appear and was dismissed from the Association. However, the Welsh Neck Church was satisfied as to the rectitude of his conduct and retained his services until his death." His will, made Jan. 19, 1774, names children Hannah, Malachi, and Ann, and wife Mary; the legacies and bequests consisted of books, household goods, sixteen slaves, and a plantation called Cheraw Bluff, of 300 acres on the northeast side of Peedee; a legacy of 100 pounds currency came to him by the will of Martha D'Harriette made May 27, 1758, and proved March 27, 1760 (Charleston County PC, Wills 1750-1760, p. 211; 1774-1779, pp. 111-2; RMC, Deeds R-3, pp. 53-61). 21 Welsh Neck CB, pp. 19, 23; Hist. Sketch Welsh Neck, p. 9.
22 Ibid.; Benedict, Baptist History, I, 275; Rev. Elhanan Winchester's connection with the churches of S. C., was short; he was a man of prodigious memory and great talent, who later in Philadelphia preached universal redemption through a disciplinary purgatory.
23 Welsh Neck CB, pp. 28, 29; Mallary, Botsford; Sprague, Annals, VI, 138- 45; obituaries in Charleston Assoc. Min, and American Baptist Magazine and Missionary Intelligencer, New Series, 2 (1920), No. 8; letter of Edmund Botsford, Peedee River, S. C., Apr. 25, Aug. 24, 1790, in Rippon's Reg., 1790-1793, pp. 104-103; Edwards, Ga. Materials (MS); Benedict, Baptist History, II, p. 151; Newman, U. S. Baptists, pp. 311, 316-18; "Hart's Diary" in YBC, 1896, pp. 385-6; Gregg, Cheraws, p. 88, note; Furman to Hart, Jan. 26, 1785, Feb. 7, 1786 (MS, Alester O. Furman); "Marriage and Death Notices" in SCHGM XVIII (1917), 154: Rev. Edmund Botsford was born at Woburn, Bedfordshire, Eng., in Nov. 1745, and at twenty came to America, where he was converted under Rev. Oliver Hart and baptized at Charleston, Mar. 13, 1767; he then studied with Mr. Hart, with assistance from Charleston Association and from private donations, and was licensed to preach Feb. 24, 1771, his first charge being Tuckaseeking in Georgia; after ordination by Messrs. Hart and Pelot, Mar. 14, 1773, he became pastor of a church at New Savannah, Ga., which was constituted Nov, 28, 1773, his swift movements from church to church throughout the surrounding parts of Ga., and S. C. gaining him the name of the "flying preacher;" with the advance of the British he fled into S. C. in March, 1779, and lived for a time with Colonel Arthur Simkins, during a part of which he is said to have served as chaplain with General Andrew Williamson's troops; after a short time at Welsh Neck, he fled into Va., where he preached in the Northern Neck with great effect, returning to Welsh Neck in 1782, where he remained until his removal to Georgetown in 1796; in 1790 he owned four slaves (Census, p. 48); he married three times, his wife Catherine dying Feb. 7, 1796, at Greenville, Cheraws District; he suffered many years with tic douloureux, Rhode Island College conferred on him the A. M. degree; his publications include: Familiar Letters. (1789); Sambo and Toney in Dialogue for Instruction of Slaves, (1808); Reasons for Renouncing Infant Baptism, in a letter to a friend, (1810); Spiritual Voyage, an entertaining Allegory, (1314); two letters called "The Wandering Jew" and "The Second Sight," to a female correspondent, published in Religious Remembrancer, (1815), and afterwards as a tract; extracts from unpublished Kingdom of God, a poem on a lady in distress; Rev. John Thomas was probably the minister from Toisneot Church, N. C. (Edwards, "N. C. Materials," in N. C. Hist. Rev., VII (1930), 379; G. W. Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists (Raleigh, 1930), 1 (1663-1805), 175, 181, 439, 441).
24 Welsh Neck CB, p. 40.
25 Ibid., p. 30.
26 Ibid., p. 34.
27 Botsford to the editor, in Rippon's Reg., 1790-93; pp. 104-8.
28 Welsh Neck CB, p. 39.
29 Ibid., p. 40; "Mr. Abel Edwards, a Deacon of the Baptist Church at the Welsh Neck, Pedee, South Carolina," in Rippon's Reg., 1794-7, pp. 500-2.
30 Welsh Neck CB, pp. 42-5.
31 Partial list of Welsh Neck Church members compiled from Ibid., 1759- 1804: Elizabeth Akins, (?), Elizabeth Ayer, Peggy Ayer (or Peggy Ann). Thomas Ayer, Mary Ann Baker, Hall Baldy and wife Anne, WilliamBeasley and wife, John Bennett, Susannah Bingham, Rhoda Booth, Sarah Booth, Caty Botsford, Sarah Bowdy, John Bridges and wife, Mrs. Anne Brown, Esther Brown, Grace Brown, Jeremiah Brown, Nancy Brown, Bibby Bruce, Jemimah Bruce, Eli Burdo and wife Eve, Magnus Cargill, John Chambliss, Sarah Cherry, William Cherry, Mary Cleary, Mary Cochran, James Coker, Arnold Colvin Joseph Cook, Mary Cooper, Mary Cox, Agnes Creek, Owen Darby, Honor Darby, Peggy Darby, Isabel David, Jenkyn David, John David, Rachel David, Jacob D’Surrency, Martin DeWitt, Philip Douglas, John Downes, Rachel Downes, Sarah Downes, Walter Downes, John Edmundson, Abel Edwards, Charity Edwards, Joshua Edwards, Mary Edwards, Sarah Edwards, Thomas Edwards, Abel Evans, Anne Evans, David Evans, Eleanor Evans, Enoch Evans, Jr., Elizabeth Evans, Enoch Evans, Sr., Hannah Evans, Jesse Evans, John Evans, Josiah Evans, Lydia Evans, Margaret Evans, Mary Evans, Philip Evans, Rachel Evans Sarah Evans, Samuel Evans, Thomas Evans, Thomas Evans Jr., William Ferrel and Anne his wife, Mary Ann Fitzgerald, Michael Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Flanagan, Sarah Foster, Shadrach Fuller, Abel Goodwin, Deborah Greer, Mary Griffiths, Matthew Griffiths, Rachel Groves, Mary Harper, Eleanor Harry, James Harry, Naoomi Harry, Sarah Harry, Elizabeth Hewson (Hughson?), William Hewson, Eleanor Hewstess, James Hewstess, John Hewstess and Agnes his wife, Matthew Hewstess, Sarah Hewstess. William Hewstess, Betsey Hicks, Elizabeth Hicks (?), George Hicks, Comfort Hinley, John Hodges, Elizabeth Hodges, Rebecca Hodges, Robert Hodges, Welcome Hodges, Eleanor Hollingsworth, Mary Hollingsworth, Volentine Hollingsworth, William Hollingsworth, Hannah Howell, Lydia Howell, Eleanor Hudson Mary Hudson, Paul Hudson, Burril Huggins and wife, Mary Huggins, Charity Hurd, Mahetabel Irby, Mary Ivy, Celia James, Elizabeth James, Howell James, James James, Josiah James, Sarah James (four of them), Thomas James, William James, Elizabeth Jarrell, Griffith John, Margaret John, Anna Jones, Edward Jones, Joseph Jones, Mary Jones, William Jones, Barbara Judith, John Killingsworth and wife, Hannah Kimbrough, Sarah Kolb, Abel Kolb, Peter Kolb, Benjamin Kolb, Sarah Lack, Anne Lampley, Martha Lampley, Sussannah Lampley, Feribe Lang (two), Charles Lide, Elizabeth Lide, Mary Lide, Col. Thomas Lide, Joseph Lister, and wife, Anne Lowther, Charles Lowther, Alice Lucas, Celete Luke, Elizabeth Luke (two), William Luke, Daniel McDaniel, Sarah McDaniel, Joel McNatt, Macky McNatt, Martha McNatt (two), Charles Mason, Elizabeth Mason, Joseph Mason, Thomas Mason Elizabeth Medford, Barbary Monochon, Daniel Monochon, Celete Morgan, Sarah Mumford, John McIntosh, Catherine McIver, Evander McIver, Gideon Parish, Robert Parsley. Josiah Pearce and Mary His wife, Martha Pearce, Aaron Pearson: and wife, Moses Pearson and wife, Sarah Pearson, John Perkins, Elizabeth Pledger, Joseph Pledger, Phoebe Pledger, Ann Poland, Jane Poland, Elizabeth Powers, Mary Prothro, Elizabeth Raburn, Sarah Raburn, Samuel Reredon, Anne Roach, Martha Roach, Anne Roblyn, Martha Rogers, James Rogers, Catherine Ross, Rebecca Scott, Daniel Sparks, Henry Sparks, Anne Stevens, John Stevens, Sarah Steward, Eddy Stinson, Sarah Stubbs, John Sutton and Elizabeth his wife, William Terrell, Jr., Elizabeth Thomas, Samson Thomas, Tristram Thomas and wife, George Trawicks, Lydia Trawicks, Penr. Trawicks, Sedona Upthegroove, Mary Vann, Thomas Vlning, Alexander Walden and wife (Sarah?), Elizabeth Walsh, Mary Walsh, Zilpah Walsh, Robert White, Abel Wilds, Elizabeth Wilds, John Wilds, Mary Wilds, Samuel Wilds, John Williams, Nancy Williamson, Tabitha Williamson, James p. Wilson, Mary Wilson, Martha Wilson.
32 Ibid., p. 20.
33 Ibid., p. 30.
34 Ibid., p. 39; Charleston Assoc. Min., 1790-1804; Botsford supported the movement to incorporate the General Committee, Mallary, Botsford, p. 63.
35 Welsh Neck CB, pp. 29. 37, 41; probably Rippon's Reg.
36 Gregg, Cheraws, pp. 282-4, 436-8. Records of St. David's Society, Society Hill, S. C.; Welsh Neck CB, 1778-1804; Mrs. Furman E. Wilson (Jane Lide Coker), Memories of Society Hill (Darlington, S. C., 1810), p. 2.
37 Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 50.
38 Welsh Neck CB, p. 20.
39 Ibid., pp. 37-8.
40 Ibid., pp. 40, 45.
41 Ibid., pp. 41-3.
42 Ibid., pp. 45-6.
43 Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 50, gives the dimensions as 46 by 30 feet, Furman MS, p. 16 as 45 by 20 feet; Pugh's Diary, Mar. 22, 1766, states that the Welsh Neck Church meeting decided to build in 1766; no deed to this lot has been found.
44 Welsh Neck CB, pp. 30, 37, 38; Hist. Sketch Welsh Neck, p. 7.
45 Welsh Neck CB, p. 40.
46 Ibid., p. 39.
47 Ibid., pp. 43-5.
48 Ibid., p. 44.
49 Mrs. Wilson, Society Hill, p. 8.
50 Welsh Neck CB, p. 2; Edwards, Crozer MS, p. 53.
51 Welsh Neck CB, p. 22.
52 Ibid., p. 8; Hist. Sketch Welsh Neck, p. 14.
53 Welsh Neck CB, pp. 8, 31.
54 Ibid., p. 8.
55 McCord (ed.), Statutes, VIII, 127.
56 Pugh's Diary, 1766; Cashaway CB, 1756-72; Edwards, Crozer MS, pp. 50- 4; Furman MS, pp. 31-2; Charleston Assoc. Min., pp. 61-8; Botsford to the editor, Rippon's Reg., 1790-93, pp. 104-8.
[From Leah Townsend, South Carolina Baptists 1670-1805, 1935, pp. 40-49. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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