Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 39.djvu/86

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74 Southern Historical Society Papers.

These were included by Mrs. Davis in the opening chapter of ^ her Memoir of his life. The brief statements which are there set down supph- an indispensable clew. It was known that the Davis family were of the Baptist persuasion, but when and where they had become Baptists was something unknown until Mr. Davis himself gave the requisite hint. We must thank him for showing us the way. It would have been impossible to turn a wheel without his assistance and direction.

The records of the Baptist Church to which his ancestors seem to have belonged, stand next in importance to the testi- mony of Mr. Davis. These were published in the year 1904, in two parts by the Historical Society of Delaware, who have thereby rendered a memorable service indeed. We owe much honor and many thanks to the Historical Society of Delaware. I-'ollowing is the title of Paper Number XLII, issued by that learned corporation:

Records of the Welsh Tract Baptist Meeting, Pencader Hun- dred, New Castle County, Delaware, 1701 to 1828. In two parts. Copied from the Original Records in the Possession of the Meeting Officials. The Historical Society of Delaware. Wilmington, 1904.

In quoting from this record it will be necessary to bring for- ward certain controversies that were raised among the brethren, but these will be employed merely as items of history. I shall endeavor strictly to observe the proprieties of the occasion and the requirements of the historic method. If I should fail to reach the ideal in these particulars, the failure will be due to defect of skill, and in no sense to defect of purpose and prin- ciple. I appeal to your generosity, and request a favorable construction.

It afifords me much satisfaction to commend the example of the Historical Society of Delaware. The genealogical notices given by Mr. Davis were entirely useless to me untli I was enabled to obtain a sight of the Welsh Tract Records. By comparing the one with the other many secrets were revealed, and many difficulties were removed. I trust that other learned