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I first typed in the Bryan manuscript verbatim. Then I gave it a pretty hard edit. The sentences and paragraphs in the original are very, very long, with many a semi-colon and not enough commas, and footnotes are sometimes major digressions. I broke up the sentences and paragraphs, corrected punctuation to modern usage, and wove the more interesting footnotes into their proper places in the narrative. I also cut sections I thought less relevant and interesting in an effort to make the whole as readable as possible.
In places, CBB's handwriting is illegible, and where the word is a proper noun or an archaic term, I have been unable to guess what he meant to say. For anyone who is interested, I have provided the whole manuscript, raw [RTF file], complete with my own plentiful typos. When time permits, I will scan the original, and you can figure out for yourself what that professor's name is.
One section I left out of my general-interest version of the manuscript is the part about Abingdon Church. But now I have an old picture of it. So here is the passage from the manuscript, with minimal edits. "He," as always, is John Randolph Bryan.
"[H]e was perhaps the chief supporter of the parish church both in Fluvanna and Gloucester; and the first clergyman in Gloucester after Father settled there (Rev. John Cole) made his home at Eagle Point. For many years he was the only male communicant in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester. When he went to that County Abingdon Church* which had been built by the Church of England long before the Revolution had fallen into the hands of some denomination or association which disputed the right of the Episcopal Church to the property. By his earnestness Father secured the help of one or more gentlemen of Episcopal families, resurveyed the church lands with his own hand, I have heard that Col. Alex Taliaferro carried the chain, and took possession in the name of the Church; and so firm was his conduct that there was never any further trouble on the subject. So there he and his family and neighborhood worshiped in peace, and there the church is flourishing today. He continued to be a trustee of the church property in Gloucester long after leaving the county, and transferred the trust to other hands only a short time before he died."
Footnote at the bottom of the page:
"*On the old flagon among the communion vessels now in the keeping of Mr. Robert S(?)eldon, the name is spelt Abington, and so it is in George Keith’s journal in which he records that he “preached at the Church of Abington on the north side of York River, the Reverend Mr. Smith is minister there.” This was on June 13th, 1703. See Collections of Prof.(?) Eepis(???) His. Soc. P. 38. Lewis Burwell gave the flagon to the church in 1703. The date written on it is [fig] = G in courthand(???) And indicates 1702 as the year it was made."
Here is the larger image of Abingdon Church: [1811 x 519]
Back to Bryan manuscript: