130 History of Wake Forest College
be procured. Possibly there were others who had graduated at
Columbian College but only a few of them would have been ready to
take a place in a small educational institute at a small salary. Only in
the case of Armstrong is it probable that Wait failed to measure up to
his responsibilities. Armstrong was too good a man to let go. He had
helped found the institution. He had resigned an important pastorate
to take a position on its faculty. He had won it favor among the people
of the State and had raised the money for its building program. He
had been an inspirational teacher and a powerful influence with the
students in all matters pertaining to their development, especially in
religion. He had come back from Europe well equipped for better
work. All these considerations would go to show that Wait ought to
have used his influence to keep him. But herein Wait failed. He
allowed Armstrong's place to be filled on the eve of his return by a
man who made little impression on the life of the institution, and who
resigned after a few years in a period of stress while another man who
in all likelihood engineered the scheme to bring about Armstrong's
resignation was removed almost immediately by the Board of
Trustees. In the wake of all this came great distress for the young
college. Many friends of the institution lost their interest in it; they no
longer supported it with their means, and allowed it to stagger under a
burdensome debt, and sent to it very few students. And this doubtless
led to the resignation of Wait as President in 1845.
The salaries paid in the period of the Institute were low. The highest
was $1,000 and a house and board for himself and family, paid to
President Wait. Armstrong received $800 in addition to board and
lodging, while White and Richardson after the first year were given
the same. Of the tutors Graves after a year of service was voted a
salary of $600, Wilcox received $400 and a house and board. The
other tutors were elected with salaries of $200 each including board
and lodging.
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