The College Buildings 107
$13,500.17 Before the first of the next February he had made the total
about
$17,000.18
Other agents, W. H. Jordan and A. J. Battle, by May, 1838, had
raised the total of
$21,000.19
With the encouraging report of Mr. Armstrong at Cashie before it
the Board immediately began to take measures for the erection of a
permanent building. It adopted "in general outlines" a draft of the
building which, along with a letter, had
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17
Proceedings, November 3-5, 1834.
18
Wait, Wake Forest Student, II, 56. Wait has spoken in somewhat derogatory
terms of this remarkable achievement of Mr. Armstrong. I mention this fact here as
it may throw some light on why after a few years the Institution lost the services of
this able man. Wait's words are as follows: "While there is no wish to depreciate the
value of the services of our late brother it is due in justice to the claims of other
agents to state the facts that belong to the case. The importance of a public
institution of learning to a Baptist denomination in North Carolina was felt by many
at the commencement of the Convention. And that it was absolutely indispensable
to success in building up our churches was distinctly seen by all before the first
anniversary of the Convention. Hence this point was frequently discussed among
the brethren. It had been often noticed by the Institution. And one year before the
termination of my agency for the Convention, I had been appointed Principal of the
contemplated seminary, and requested by the Convention to do all I could towards
procuring the means requisite for a successful beginning. Efforts were accordingly
made, not only to raise money, but also to procure any kind of furniture that could
be useful in a public boarding school. This was an important part of the business of
Mrs. Wait and myself during the last year of my agency. But more than all, the
school was actually commenced, and now in successful operation. More room was
needed. All seemed to regret that the Institute should be retarded for the want of
more ample accommodations. The school was indeed full. From the Trustees I
received almost daily expressions of their joy at the prosperity of the Institute and
urgent requests to receive all that came. Had the whole establishment been my own,
I think I should not have attempted to accommodate more than thirty-five or forty
students. The statement now made will enable any one to see that Brother
Armstrong commenced his agency under most favorable circumstances. The
novelty of the character of the Institution supplied with many a powerful incentive
to immediate action. And the field was the entire State, no part of which had ever
been visited by an agent laboring for this Institution. The best portions, of course, of
the spacious field before the agent were visited first. Of this no complaint was ever
made. Nor is it denied that our brother was very active and very successful. It is
only urged that almost any one possessing respectable talents could hardly have
failed of success under the circumstances."
"Minutes of Chowan Association for 1838. "Report on the Wake Forest
Institute." Statement in Archives of College, "report of financial committee for the
year ending 31 December, 1837," indicates that the amount of subscriptions and
donations up to that time was $21,855.50.
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