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In Their Own Words

May 15, 1742

Multiple Religions Noted in Journal

While the Anglican Church may have been the official church of colonial Georgia, the following entry from William Stephens’ journal in 1742 shows that there was actually a polyglot of religious beliefs in the early days, at least one of which left a distinct impression upon him:

“May 15, Sunday… [O]ur great misfortune in the want of a Regular Minister appeared more and more now daily, when such a variety of different Teachers encrease [sic], and lead aside many weak people to follow them, and give attention to such Effluvia of Nonsense, as the most illiterate often take upon them to utter, and is past the Common understanding of all Among the rest. I think the Seed sown by the Moravians when they lived among us, Seems to have taken Root, and now to spring up afresh, whose Tenetts [sic] tho I do not comprehend, I must do them the Justice to say, that in Civil life I always looked on them as quiet inoffensive people and less addicted to Contention than most others of our Religious Parties.”

Source: E. Merton Coulter (ed.), The Journal of William Stephens, 1741-1743 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1959), p. 203.