The Moravians in Georgia
Chapter 7. Conclusion
Later Attempts in Georgia. 1740.
May 18th, 1740, John Hagen arrived in Savannah. He had come over intending to go as
missionary to the Cherokees, and his disappointment in finding that the Moravians had
abandoned Georgia is another example of the enormous difficulty under which mission
work was conducted in those days, when the most momentous events might transpire
months before the authorities at home could be apprised of them.
Hagen had become very ill on the way from Charleston to Savannah, and with none of
his own people to turn to he bethought himself of Whitefield's offers of friendship, and
went to his house. He was kindly received by those who were living there, and though he
went down to the gates of death the portals did not open, and he rapidly regained his
Visiting Irene he found only a few Indian women, for Tomochichi was dead, and the men
were all on the warpath. The opportunity of going to the Cherokees seemed very
doubtful, for there were none living nearer than three hundred miles, and distances
looked much greater in the Georgia forests than in his own populous Germany. So he
concluded to accept the kind offers of Whitefield's household, and stay with them,
making himself useful in the garden, and doing such religious work as he was able.
Several Germans living in the town, who had learned to like the Moravians, asked him to
hold services for them, to which he gladly agreed.
He was much pleased with the prospect for work in Savannah, where the people had been
greatly stirred by Whitefield's preaching, and he wrote to Herrnhut urging that two
married couples be sent to help reap the harvest, a request warmly seconded by
Whitefield, who had returned to Savannah on June 16th. Whitefield reported the
Moravians busily engaged in erecting a Negro school-house for him in Pennsylvania, and
told Hagen he would like to have the two couples come to assist him in carrying out his
large plans for Georgia.
But by the 14th of August this invitation had been withdrawn, Hagen had left
Whitefield's house, and had been refused work on Whitefield's plantation, for fear that he
might contaminate the Whitefield converts. The trouble arose over a discussion on
Predestination, -- not the first or last time this has happened, -- and the two men found
themselves utterly at variance, for Whitefield held the extreme Calvinistic view, while
Hagen argued that all men who would might be saved. Hagen therefore went to the home
of John Brownfield, who shared his views, and made him very welcome, and from there
carried on his work among the residents of Savannah and Purisburg.
Whitefield returned to Pennsylvania in November, 1740, nursing his wrath against
Hagen, and finding Boehler to be of the same mind, he peremptorily ordered the
Moravians to leave his land. Neighbors interfered, and cried shame on him for turning the