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In Their Own Words

April 06, 1740

Stephens Questioned Origins of Some Settlers

In his journal, William Stephens questioned the background of some of the people left in charge on the ministry in colonial Savannah:

“Easter-Sunday. Prayers appointed by the Church of England were read, Morning and Afternoon, by Mr. Simms, deputed by Mr. Whitfield to perform that Office in his Absence, and who likewise was charged by him with the principal Care of the Orphans: Mr. McLeod, Minister at Darien, having not yet left the Town, was pleased to give us two Sermons after Morning and Evening Prayer. Simms was one who came from England lately in Company with Mr. Whitfield; had the Appearance of a modest young Man, and one of very few Words, especially with any but of the Brotherhood; but whether he was a Butcher living in Clare-Market, or not (as it is currently said here) who left all, by the Impulse of the Spirit, to follow wheresoever he thought it called him, I can say nothing of; but the Truth or Falsity of it, may upon Enquiry be made easily appear; as also it may, whether one Peryam, another Instructor of the Orphans, was bred a Lawyer, and found out at a Mad- House, from whence his Liberty was procured, that he might, with the greater Fervency of Devotion, unite among those who are become approved Converts.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 549.