Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Noble Wimberly Jones, 13 December 1770

From Noble Wimberly Jones

ALS: American Philosophical Society

13th. December 1770

Dear Sir

Convinced of your good inclinations to every species of mankind, emboldens me to trust you’l excuse my thus troubling you. Mr. Cornelius Winter the gentleman by whom you’l receive this has been employ’d on the Estate of the late worthy Rector of this Parish by the Trustees of the said Estate as Instructor &c to the Negroes thereon agreable to the Will of the deceased, but as the intention thereof cannot be fully carried into execution but by a person in Holy Orders, and this gentlemen having that in veiw sometime and being well esteem’d here, he now comes in hopes of obtaining that end, and he thereby rendered more useful to the community, in case he succeeds he intends returning as quick as posible.4 If without intruding too much on your valluable time and goodness you can be of service to Mr. Winter in effecting this desireable purpose it will be greatfully acknowledged among the many other obligations your kindness has laid me under. I remain with the most sincere Respect Sir Your Most Obliged and Very humble Servant

N W Jones.

To Dr Franklin

Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esqr / Agent for the Province of Georgia / in / London / per the Britannia / Captn. Deane / Q:D:C

Endorsed: Letter from N W Jones Esqr Speaker of the Georgia Assembly to B Franklin, dated Decr. 13. 1770 Recommending Mr Winter.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The rector was Bartholomew Zouberbuhler, the son of the pastor of the Swiss colony in Purysburg, S.C. The young man was educated in Charleston, received Anglican orders in 1745, and obtained from the Georgia trustees the parish in Savannah. Before his death in 1766 he had built a strong congregation, accumulated a handsome fortune, and owned a plantation of some size. In his will, of which Noble Wimberly Jones was a trustee, he made provision for employing a suitable person to teach his slaves Christianity on Anglican principles.

Cornelius Winter (1742–1808) then entered the story. He was a London orphan, and spent some time in the workhouse before George Whitefield converted him and turned him into an itinerant preacher. In 1769 he went to Georgia with Whitefield, who persuaded him to apply for the position created by Zouberbuhler’s will. Winter was accepted and spent a year on the plantation, then decided to return to London for Anglican ordination. This was subsequently refused him because of his association with Whitefield, and he never returned to Georgia. Edgar L. Pennington, “The Reverend Bartholomew Zouberbuhler,” Ga. Hist. Quarterly, XVIII (1934), 354–63; William Jay, “Memoirs of the late Rev. Cornelius Winter,” Standard Works of the Rev. William Jay … (3 vols., Baltimore, 1842), III, pt. 2, pp. [9]–12, 25–6, 31–40; Luke Tyerman, The Life of the Rev. George Whitefield … (2 vols., London, 1876–77), II, 346, 508–9, 573.

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