The Teachers of the Institute 121
thusiasm, not to say passion, until he left the State. If he did not
propose the idea that the new school should be conducted on the
manual labor plan, his speech in Raleigh, from which we give extracts
in a former chapter, would indicate that he was its most influential
advocate before the public.
He was one of the charter members of the Board of Trustees, and
continued a member of that body until 1840. At its first meeting the
Board assigned to him the important duty of suggesting a course of
studies for the Literary Department of the Institute. The records show
that he was trusted by his fellow trustees with other most important
matters. We have already seen how successful he was in securing in a
few months subscriptions to the amount of seventeen thousand dollars
for the erection of the "College Building," and that too at a time when
there were hardly seventeen thousand Baptists in the State.
In February, 1835, he entered upon his duties as Professor of
Ancient Languages in the Institute. Brooks in his Diary speaks in
appreciative terms of his work in the classroom. But he was much
more than a master of classes. The letter of the student George
Washington printed in a former paper, shows that he was head of one
of the manual labor squads of students. He was an inspirational leader
of young men. The students were ready to do almost anything at his
bidding. We shall see later how many of them abandoned the use of
coffee for a drink of molasses and water at his behest. He also
induced many of them to give up the use of tobacco. But the most of
his work was positive. He helped the young men of the Institute in
their social and other public functions, stimulating their religious zeal,
taught their Bible classes, and shared with Principal Wait the burden
of preaching to them and to the Wake Forest Baptist Church, which
he helped to organize and of which he was assistant pastor. The diary
of Brooks shows that he preached more often than the pastor, and that
his sermons were thoughtful and powerful. Many of his sermons were
strongly evangelical. In revival meetings he was great. He won the
admiration and following of the
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