8 History of Wake Forest College
great as to suggest that nearly all the people in all sections of the
State were eager to educate their sons and daughters.7 C. L. Coon in
his study of North Carolina schools and academies indexes the
names of 118 academies, 6 military schools, 95 other schools, and
15 seminaries which advertised for patronage during the period from
1790 to 1840. Almost every county and considerable town had at
least one such school under the direction of a board of trustees who
employed the teachers, solicited patronage, and provided building
and equipment. But more often the school was a private enterprise.
Some of the teachers were able men-in the Presbyterian settlements
often ministers of the gospel. But in most of the schools the work
must have been very superficial. This statement needs no other
verification than an inspection of, the courses of study listed in their
advertisements. The following paragraph from the introduction to
Coon's book, p. xxxiii, will help illustrate the character of teacher
and teaching. He says:
For many years the Salisbury Academy was one of the leading
schools of the State. In 1821, Rev. J. O. Freeman was the principal of this
school. He unblushingly printed his course of study, exhibiting the
following bill of mental fare: Latin-Ruddiman's and Adam's grammars;
Corderiae, Historiae Sacrae, Viri Romae, Caesar, Ovid, Vergil, Cicero's
Orations, Sallust, Horace, Mair's Introduction and Prosody. In Greek he
taught Valpey's or Wettenhall's grammar, Greek Testament, Graeca
Minora, Graeca Majora, Xenophon, Homer, Neilson's Exercises, and
prosody. In addition he taught reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic,
geography, natural and moral philosophy, rhetoric, logic, composition, and
There is much evidence in Coon's volume that the condition in the
schools for girls was even worse than in those for boys. Dr. William
Hooper, in a comprehensive and brilliant address delivered before
the North Carolina Institute of Education, at Chapel Hill, June 20,
1832, said:
In these remarks I have had my eyes entirely upon schools for boys; but
most of them may be applied (mutatis mutandis) to schools
7 C. L. Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies, 1790-1840.
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