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In Their Own Words

January 11, 1740

Whitfield Returned to Georgia

William Stephens recorded in his journal of the return of George Whitefield - who had been in England. He also mentioned that Whitfield had received land for establishing an orphan house:

“…Towards Noon arrived Mr. Whitfield, accompanied by three or four in his Travels: and it luckily happening, that Mr. Norris arrived Yesterday from the South, it was quickly seen with what Tempers they met: When, to the Disappointment of some People, who are pleased best with Contention, upon Mr. Whitfield’s shewing the Authority he brought with him, Mr. Norris, without the least Emotion, told him, that he should by no Means enter into any Disputes to disturb the Peace of the Church; nor had he ever wrote once to the Trustees concerning it, from the first Notice he had of what was in Agitation; wherefore it was far from his Intention to enter into any Controversy with him; but on the contrary declared, that his Ministry at Savannah ceased from that Instant, declining to officiate at Evening Prayer this Night, but left it to Mr. Whitfield to take Possession of the Church immediately; who accordingly did so, when a greater Congregation than usual most Days were met, many (I fear) more out of Curiosity than Devotion. He delivered to me in the Afternoon a Letter from Mr. Marty n. Secretary to the Trust, dated June 1, relating to the Land appointed for his Use, and whereon to set the Orphan-House, &c. which after I had read, he also did; and I told him I would not be wanting in any Thing on my Part to promote what the Trust appointed, and to give him what Assistance’ I could; but as to the five hundred Acres, Mr. Habersham, without conferring with me upon it, when the General was here, applied himself to him, who approved of the Place he had made Choice of, ordered it to be run out, and then signed a Warrant, which he diredled me to give the Constable, empowering him to give Possession of it to Mr. Habersham; which was done accordingly in some short Time after: And that Mr. Habersham had already began fencing and clearing upon it. After his reading his Letter from Mr. Martyn, he desired me to let him take a Copy of it; which I would not refuse him.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 487-488.