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In Their Own Words

June 05, 1740

Whitefield Returned to Georgia for Brief Stay

George Whitefield had been preaching in the northern colonies as part of the Great Awakening movement, but returned to Georgia for a brief visit on this day, as recorded in the journal of William Stephens:

“…Mr. Whitfield, to the Surprize of most People, came to Town in a Boat from Tybee, where he left his Sloop that he sailed in for Pensilvania, and was a Month or two sooner than expelled. Upon my making him a Visit in the Afternoon, to bid him welcome; he told me, that he had collected upwards of 500 /. Sterling for the Use of the Orphan-House, on his preaching several Sermons, notwithstanding the Opposition he met with: Whereat observing it was what I seemed to take particular Notice of; he farther added, that he should not think himself a Preacher of the Gospel, unless he met with Opposers: I understood he had travelled by Land to New- York from Philadelphia, and back again; after dispatching his Friend, Mr. Seward, first to Old-England, before he himself visited the New; which he told me was in his Intention the latter End of this Summer, after he had tarried a while here. His Sloop that he came in, was fully loaden with Provisions of all Sorts, for Food and Cloathing, and ten Passengers (Men and Women) of divers Trades, useful to his Purpose, viz. Taylor, Shoemaker, Glazier, &c. In the Evening (after pausing and hesitating a while) he buried the Corpse that died this Morning; but after it was in the Ground, and the Service was over, he made a Sort of Declamation against a loose and debauched Life and Conversation; not sparing the Deceased, as one who had given publick Scandal to good People, by her Deportment for some Time past…”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 588-589.