Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wesley flees America 1

Friday, December 2, 1737. I proposed to set out for Carolina about noon, the tide then serving. But about ten the magistrates sent for me, and told me I must not go out of the province, for I had not answered the allegations laid against me. I replied, ‘I have appeared at six or seven courts successively in order to answer them. But I was not suffered so to do, when I desired it time after time.’ They then said, however, I must not go, unless I would give security to answer those allegations at their court. I asked, ‘What security?’ After consulting together about two hours the recorder showed me a kind of bond, engaging me, under a penalty of fifty pounds, to appear at their court when I should be required. He added, ‘But Mr. Williamson too has desired of us that you should give bail to answer his action.’ I then told him plainly, ‘Sir, you use me very ill, and so you do the Trustees. I will give neither any bond, nor any bail at all. You know your business, and I know mine.’
In the afternoon the magistrates published an order requiring all the officers and sentinels to prevent my going out of the province, and forbidding any person to assist me so to do. Being now only a prisoner at large, in a place where I knew by experience every day would give fresh opportunity to procure evidence of words I never said, and actions I never did, I saw clearly the hour was come for leaving this place; and as soon as evening prayers were over, about eight o’clock, the tide then serving, I shook off the dust of my feet, and left Georgia, after having preached the gospel (not as I ought, but as I was able) one year and nearly nine months.
During this time I had frequent opportunities of making many observations and inquiries concerning the real state of this province (which has been so variously misrepresented), the English settlements therein, and the Indians that have intercourse with them. These I minuted down from time to time; a small extract of which I have subjoined.

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