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In Their Own Words

November 26, 1737

Wesley Dispute Intensified

William Stephens recorded in his journal that the dispute between John Wesley and the family of the man who had married the woman Wesley hoped to marry had intensified; the family did not want Wesley to leave without paying damages:

“…I read a publick Advertisement fixt up in the Common Place by Mr. Williamson, and signifying, That whereas Mr. Wesley had given publick Notice of his Intention to go soon for England; he did hereby notify, that there was a Cause depending in this Court, where he had brought his Action against the said Mr. Wesley for 1000 l. Damages ; and therefore, if any one should aid and assist Mr. Wesley in going out of the Province, he would prosecute such Person with the utmost Rigour. So that from what each of them had advertised, I now began to lay aside all Hopes of an Accommodation be- twixt those Families; which would be a Means (I feared) of keeping these Party Divisions alive; many being led by their Passions to espouse that Side which carried on an Opposition to such as they were at personal Enmity with; whilst several of them, I plainly saw, cared little in Reality for either.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 37.