XIII
THE TOWN OF WAKE FOREST
The most serious handicap of the College was the accumulated
debt. The money raised by Armstrong, of which not less than $13,000
was
collected,1
had evidently been used for other purposes than to pay
for the cost of the College Building. Doubtless much of it was used to
erect the temporary buildings, and a part to pay for furniture, for
dormitories, and kitchen, part for teachers' salaries, part for the
general running expenses of the institution, including the annual
deficits in the steward's department, which were said to be well nigh
ruinous.2
Even the Trustees seem not to have known how great was the
debt.3
In December, 1838, they borrowed $4,000 from the bank; the
steward's account was in arrears to the amount of
$3,000;4
and the
salaries of the members of the faculty were long unpaid. For the next
several years forgotten accounts for repairs on buildings and other
services were brought before the Trustees at almost every meeting.
And there was the unpaid account of Captain John Berry for the
College Building, which at that time amounted to $9,000, and later to
$10,000.
In all the College inherited from the Institute a debt of not less than
twenty thousand
dollars.5
How to pay this debt and at the same time
keep the College running was the problem before the Trustees for the
next score of years. It was a heroic task, but the Trustees did it. When
the Civil War brought a suspension to its operations, the Baptists of
North Carolina had in Wake Forest a college not only free from debt,
but with a respectable endowment of more than fifty thousand dollars,
and with other property worth as much more; its faculty consisted of
some
―――――――
1
Minutes of the Chowan Association for 1838.
2
"Circular," Biblical Recorder, January 5, 1839.
3
Proceedings, p. 36.
4
Statement in the archives in the Bursar's office.
5
Letter of J. S. Purefoy, Biblical Recorder, August 1, 1846.
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