This fall we are planning a return to homeschooling and along with it we are planning one course for the kids that focuses on colonial American history. My hope is that this learning will lead up nicely to a short road trip in October to track the footprints of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and the Great Awakening.
The trip goals are simple:
(1) visit key places in the life of Jonathan Edwards,
(2) learn about the Great Awakening,
(3) better appreciate domestic life and architecture in Colonial America,
(4) better understand the 18th century tension between colonists and native Americans,
(5) appreciate the marriage of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards,
(6) learn about the person and preaching of George Whitefield and his initial meeting with Edwards in Northampton,
(7) learn about David Brainerd and the frontier missions work with the indians that Edwards later participated, and
(8) appreciate nature’s beauty.
The route will largely unfold chronologically in an 874 mile long balloon-shaped loop (see map here). The planning is early and things will change but what follows are all the locations I’m planning to hit. Most of them I have found and marked with GPS coordinates (because I’m nerdy like that). I’ll fill in the locations as I find them.
Please tell me if you know of other landmarks of interest that I have not mentioned here. We cannot see everything (sadly New Haven, CT got an early x). Please tell me what I’ve missed.
East Windsor, CT: 1703-1716
Timothy Edwards’ church
Timothy was Edwards father and he was a pastor. This is the site of the East Windsor awakening of 1716. For background reading see Marsden, 33-34.
Jonathan Edwards’ birthplace (Oct 5, 1703) and childhood
For background reading on Edwards’ childhood and his early memories of the natives see Marsden, 11-24.
Location: 41.844849,-72.611963 (birthplace marker)
Resting place for his parents (Timothy and Esther Edwards) and two daughters (Jerusha and Lucy).
Hike: Windsor Meadows State Park
We plan to hike a bit along the way so I throw this in as one option.
Enfield, CT: 1741
“Sinners in the Hands” sermon location
On the July 8, 1741 sermon see Marsden, 219-226; Murray, 168-170. Listen to Mark Dever read/preach the message in 58-minutes (http://bit.ly/BgmwP).
Location: 41.971588,-72.592761 (stone marker)
Northampton, MA: 1726-1750
Read Marsden, 110-374
Historic Northampton Museum
Gateway to Jonathan Edwards walking tour. The website reads (http://bit.ly/dwgaZD): “The Museum and Gift Shop are open daily, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM until 5 PM and on Sunday from Noon until 5 PM. Historic Northampton is closed on Mondays & Holidays.”
Location: 46 Bridge St, Northampton, MA 01060
Read about their home (Marsden, 320-323) and the historic meeting there between Jonathan Edwards and Whitefield on Oct. 17, 1740 (see Dallimore, 1:537-540; Marsden, 206-213).
location: ?? Smith College ??
Jonathan Edwards’ church location
See the commemorative plaque for the 1737 church on the front steps and the JE plaque inside. For background read about the periods of awakenings in the church read Marsden, 150-169.
Bridge Street Cemetery
Resting place of David Brainerd, Jerusha Edwards, and many of the Stoddards. Read about Brainerd and Jerusha in Marsden, 320-340.
Stockbridge, CT: 1750-1758
Read Marsden, 375-428
Morning reading: Sermon, “Christ Is to the Heart Like a River to a Tree,” a brief sacramental message read and translated to the Mahican Indians in Stockbridge in August of 1751 (Works, 25:602-604).
Stockbridge Library Association
Jonathan Edwards artifacts on display.
Location: 46 Main St, Stockbridge, MA
Read about the mission house in Marsden, 375-380, 390-391. The website reads (http://bit.ly/dm8zWc): “Open Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day [2nd Mon in Oct], Thursday through Monday, 11am–3pm.”
Where Edwards wrote Freedom of the Will, The End for Which God Created the World, and Original Sin.
Location: perhaps 42.283143,-73.314487 (Directions “Go down street [W] a little ways from library, home site on right marked by small marble fountain.”)
UPDATED: Edwards’ church location
Location: perhaps in the area of 42.283788,-73.319806 [HT: Martyn]
UPDATED: Edwards’ monument
Location: 42.284223,-73.320254 [HT: Martyn]
Princeton, NJ: 1758
Resting place for Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. Readings: Marriage summary (find a good one); passings and burials in Marsden, 490-498.
Period building (back side only)
George Whitefield statue
On the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, which began in 1740 as a meeting place for the crowds who flooded to hear Whitefield preach. The statue was commissioned and purchased by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin said: “I knew him intimately upwards of thirty years. His integrity, disinterestedness and indefatigable zeal in prosecuting every good work I have never seen equaled and shall never see excelled.”
Misc. places of interest we will not see
George Whitefield Rock
Whitefield preached from this boulder to a gathering of a few hundred people on Oct 16, 1740 on his way to Northampton.