A Whig Minister Cordially Hated
The pastoral letter of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia in 1775 may be regarded as a moderate and measured expression of the sentiments of intelligent Presbyterians in regard to the quarrel with the mother country at that time. It is presumed by the writer that this letter was read in every church under the care of that synod by the presiding minister, with such comments as might be thought proper on the occasion. The ministers who officiated at Fairforest in those days were Joseph Alexander and John Simpson. The latter was the leading champion of liberty on the Catawba and a member of the Council of Safety in Sumpter’s camp in the War of Independence. A living witness of those times recently remarked to the writer that the Tories would have roasted Alexander if they could have caught him. But the people did not wait to be roused by the ministry. Many of them demanded of their ministers that they should become missionaries of liberty and seize upon all suitable occasions to spread before the public the merits of the controversy. This was done. From some cause, or combination of causes, there was no division in this congregation in regard to Independence. Every man was true to his country and ready to stake fortune and life and sacred honor to secure its welfare. No important engagement occurred in the state or out of it where this state had soldiers without a respectable representation from Fairforest. Not a few fell in battle or wore scars of honor after the war. But this was not all this congregation was called to suffer and lose in the cause of freedom.