‘The most barbarous place in the Continent’

“The London-based Society [for the Propagation of the Gospel] sent the first missionary to North Carolina in 1704, John Blair, a graduate of Glasgow College. On his arrival in the province he observed that the population was ‘exceedingly scattered’ and the people ‘backward in religious matters and little disposed to assist in the support of a minister of the Church of England.’

“After a brief period he returned to England ‘enfeebled with poverty and sickness,’ having found North Carolina ‘the most barbarous place in the Continent.’ ”

– From “A War of Religion: Dissenters, Anglicans and the American Revolution” by James B. Bell (2008)

One thought on “‘The most barbarous place in the Continent’”

  1. Rev. Blair wasn’t alone in his perception of the culture. The Gazetteer lists no fewer than five Sodoms (no Gomorrahs), including
    — Sodom community in Madison County (“Local legend is that, after Presbyterian missionaries visited, name was changed to Revere.”)
    — Sodom Branch in Yancey County (“Named for an early sawmill camp, at which prostitution, violence of all kinds and drunkenness were common. Nearby settlers drew upon the Bible for an appropriate name for the camp.”)
    — Sodom Hollow in Buncombe County (“Named by an early circuit rider who compared the rough pioneers living there with the inhabitants of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah.”)

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