During the five years in which the manual labor feature was
maintained at the Wake Forest Institute the school was taking definite
shape and direction and assuming the character that even now
distinguishes it. We shall come to a clearer understanding of this as
we consider the men who proved to be the actual working members of
the Board of Trustees, where they lived, their standing in state and
church, their ideals and plans and labors and gifts and sacrifices for
the institution. It will also be necessary to see how the Board began
and carried to completion its building program, how it provided a
faculty of constantly improving quality until after five years it was fit
to take charge of the little college into which the Institute had
developed, and how this faculty under the oversight and direction of
the Board of Trustees worked out a curriculum of studies and put into
operation the regulations that the Board of Trustees made and
required the faculty to enforce. It will be to our purpose also to learn
of the students, of their work in the classroom, of their literary
societies, of the keen rivalry which sprang up between these societies,
and of their great formative and cultural influence. Then too, we can
learn something of the social life of the students and of how religion
was a powerful factor in the institution from its first years. After
discussing these things we shall try to find indications of the influence
of the institution on the social, educational, and religious life of the
In the first months of the Institute the requisite number of
1 The primary sources for the period of the Institute, February 1, 1834, to
February 1, 1839, are:
1. Proceedings of the Board of Trustees, copied into a large record book from the
original books in 1888. It is written in a clear and legible hand. It does not contain
reports of committees which are referred to in the record by letters of the alphabet
and are probably lost. In the vault of the Bursar's office. 2. The Interpreter, 1833-
35, Edenton, New Bern. In the College Library. 4. The Raleigh Register and
Raleigh Standard, 1834-38. Bound volumes in the State
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