More troubles for Charles Wesley on St. Simons Island

4/5/2015

JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS
DAVE HANSON

John Wesley was living in a lean-to covered with palmetto branches up against the fort at Frederica. He thought he would be staying in the tent with Oglethorpe, but that had not happened. The heat was getting to him. He was covered with insect bites. The women were driving him crazy, especially two of them: Beta Hawkins, the doctor’s wife, and Ann Welch, the carpenter’s wife. It is hard to believe these two women were as evil as depicted in Charles and John’s diaries. Several Methodist historians tell us that they were both prostitutes in London. In any event they hated Charles and wanted him gone.

These two women went separately to Charles in confession and told him that both of them were having affairs with “an important person on this island.” Charles asked himself, “An important person? On this island? An important person?” Well, there was only one “important person” on this island: James Edward Oglethorpe: military hero, member of Parliament, Governor!

Charles did not handle this information well. In the meantime the women went to Oglethorpe and said, “Charles Wesley is spreading rumors about you!” They also charged Charles and John with sexual misconduct. Oglethorpe did not handle this information well. The two men lost communication with each other. They lost respect for each other. And this was behind many of Charles’ troubles on St Simons Island.

He sent his laundry out to be washed and the washwoman set it back dirty saying, “I’m not going to wash that man’s dirty clothes!” He didn’t have a bed and asked Oglethorpe for one. Oglethorpe said, “No.” A soldier was killed when a canon blew up. Charles got up out of a sick bed in the rain and held his funeral. After the funeral Charles asked other soldiers to take the dead man’s bed to his quarters. Oglethorpe heard about this and sent other soldiers to take the bed away and give it to somebody else.

Charles’ troubles continued.