George Whitefield Documents and Images



Portrait of the Reverend,
Mr. George Whitefield, A.B.

This portrait of George Whitefield was printed by Andrew Miller (circa 1690–1763) between 1751 and 1763 based on a 1750 painting by M. Jenkin (active 1750–1780). The work portrays three physical traits for which Whitefield was known: he was slender, handsome, and cross-eyed.

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Letter from George Whitefield
to Ebenezer Blackwell,
November 8, 1739

London Banker Ebenezer Blackwell (1711–1782) was a close associate and important financial benefactor of George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley. In this 1739 letter written aboard a ship docked in Philadelphia harbor, Whitefield mixes praise for Blackwell with spiritual counsel and subtle appeals for continued patronage.

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Letter from George Whitefield
to Charles Wesley,
March 17, 1763

Whitefield’s letter of March 17, 1763 conveys warmth for Charles Wesley and dismay at receiving an angry missive from John Wesley.

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Poem by George Whitefield
dated May 1, 1764

This manuscript copy of “Ah! Lovely appearance of death,” featuring images of a skull and crossed bones, states that the hymn was written by George Whitefield in 1764 for use at his own funeral. However, hymnologists generally agree that it was written by Charles Wesley and first published in John Frederick Lampe’s Hymns on the Great Festivals, and Other Occasions in 1746. The hymn welcomes death as release from life’s troubles:

How blest is our brother bereft
Of all that could burden his mind
How easy the soul that hath left
This wearisome body behind.
Of evil incapable thou
Whose relics with envy I see
No longer in misery now
No longer a sinner like me.

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Letter from George Whitefield
to Samuel Stennett,
February 14, 1754

Samuel Stennett (1727–1795) was a respected English Baptist (and later Seventh-Day Baptist) scholar and preacher. A prolific writer, Stennett’s publications include hymn texts, volumes of sermons, and discourses. His hymn “On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand” became a mainstay of American frontier camp meetings during the nineteenth century and is still sung today. In this letter Whitefield requests Stennett’s help in replacing a minister who had resigned.

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