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In Their Own Words

May 19, 1737

Whitfield’s Dedication Shown in Journal

George Whitfield’s journal entry for this date shows his dedication for his Georgia ministry and that he was already thinking about the need for an orphanage in the colony:

“… I went this Morning to two little Villages, Hampstead and Highgate, about Five Miles off Savannah. The former consists of three Families, making in all eleven Souls… .I was much delighted with seeing the improvements a few pair of Hands had made in their respective Plantations, and was surprized [sic] to see what Industry will do. Surely they speak not the Truth, who say that the Georgia People have been idle; for I never saw more laborious People than are in these villages. They live exceeding hard, but with a little Assistance may do very well… . I resolved, under God, to follow my worthy Predecessor’s Example, and to visit them once a Week, and read Prayers to as many as could understand me. I also enquired into the State of their Children, and found there were many who might prove useful Members of the Colony, if there was a proper Place provided for their Maintenance and Education. Nothing can effect this but an Orphan-House, which might easily be erected at Savannah, would some of those that are rich in this World’s Good, contribute towards it.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (The Beehive Press, Savannah, 1974), pp. 288-289.