100 History of Wake Forest College
After the Board in December, 1834, had appointed a committee to
adopt measures for filling vacancies, George W. Thompson, Secretary
of the Board, seemingly following the instruction of the committee,
published in the Biblical Recorder of May 10, 1835, a notice of a
meeting of the Board at the Institute on the first of July next, and
urged every member to be present for the election which could not be
made without a majority present. This advertisement called forth a
most vigorous protest by one who signed himself "Trustee" in the
Biblical Recorder of June 8, 1835. The writer declared that the
original plan of the Convention was to leave to the Convention itself
the nomination of trustees for the Institute, and that the charter
method of election was agreed to only to save it from defeat in the
Legislature, and that the understanding was that vacancies occurring
in the Board "shall now and forever be filled out of nominations made
by the
Convention."11
This letter came up for consideration in the next meeting of the
Board of Trustees, who appointed a committee consisting of John
Armstrong, David Thompson, and A. J. Battle to answer
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11'The
letter was probably written by some member of the committee that
purchased the farm from Dr. Jones. It reads: "Brother Meredith-I have observed in a
later Recorder a notice for the Trustees of Wake Forest Institute to meet for the
purpose, among other objects, of filling vacancies by the appointment of other
Trustees. Now it is well known that the Institute was an offspring of the
Convention, and accordingly incorporated by the Act of the Legislature. It will also
be remembered that it was made the duty of the Committee to apply for an act of
incorporation to have it inserted, if it seemed probable to pass, that the vacancies
occurring in the Board of Trustees should be filled from the nomination made by the
Convention. But it was thought advisable not to press that clause into the act of
incorporation, as it might be considered exceptionable, and the passage of the bill
thereby endangered. This review is intended to settle and confirm the fact, that there
was and still is an agreed and implied understanding and obligation subsisting
between the parent and the offspring, the Convention and the Institute, that the
vacancies taking place in the Board of Trustees, shall now and forever be filled out
of nominations made by the Convention so long as it shall exist.
"The Trustees themselves are witnesses and parties to these facts, and how they
should authorize a notice as above seems strange; and if they have not directed it,
how any individual should undertake to dictate for the whole Convention seems
stranger still. It seems to me that the Institute will prove a powerful engine of truth
or corruption, and it should therefore be regarded with corresponding vigilance."
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