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In Their Own Words

April 02, 1740

Whitefield Left Georgia as Part of Great Awakening

William Stephens wrote in his journal of the departure of George Whitefield from Georgia, om the journey through the northern colonies that became part of the Great Awakening:

“…About Eight this Morning Mr. Whitfield went on board his Sloop, accompanied with Mr. Seward, and taking with them Mr. Habersham, formerly School-Master here, hitherto deputed by Mr. Whitfield to officiate in his Absence; but now seemed chosen out for other Purposes elsewhere: The Wind being fair, they sailed immediately; and the Place they were said to be bound to, was some Part of Pensylvania, but far short of Philadelphia, to which Town they meant to travel by Land, gathering the Brethren together, and preaching the Gospel in their Way: From Pensylvania they were to proceed to New-York, and so on to New-England; if my Information is right: By the same Information I learnt, that Mr. Whitfield had farther Views in taking up a Tradl of Land in some one of the Provinces, and erecting a School or Nursery for the Instruction of young Negro Children, in the Christian Religion; which Works of so extensive Piety, are most undoubtedly to be highly esteemed: At the same Time it is to be wished, that whilst he is gone far off to make Proselytes, he may retain a few charitable Thoughts at least towards this poor Place, and not look upon all the Inhabitants, as Castaways not worth regarding; except the little Children which he has taken to himself, and about half a Score full-grown Persons, Men and Women (some of which came with him, and a few others became early Adepts) who are distinguished by the Name of True Believers; and separating themselves from among their Neighbours, they appear with a different Aspect, and converse as little as may be with any but one another. But it would make a Volume to pursue this Theme, which I meddle with unwillingly in these short Notes; having no Prejudice, or the least Ill-will to Mr. Whitfield; but on the contrary, a Desire to join with him in all Christian Fellowship and Communion; as I have evidently shewn, though (I am sorry to say) I have thought myself, on divers Occasions, to be coldly received: Whatever Remarks, therefore, I may have made on this Affair, or may hereafter, it has been, and shall be, only the Result of what I think a conscientious Discharge of my Duty, without any sinister Views, or particular Respect of Persons. …”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 546-547.