Bequests 215
Association whose home was near Edenton, and who conducted her
funeral.3
During the twenty-three years that the Trustees had waited for the
estate to come into their possession they had shown much concern
and almost alarm in regard to it, had made it the subject of many
resolutions, and employed several attorneys to protect their interests
and sent several special messengers to Edenton. Their many actions
cannot be explained on any other assumption than that they feared
that the estate was being squandered.4 How little the alarm of the
Trustees was justified may be inferred from
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3 Obituary sketch by Rev. W. Judson Knapp, Biblical Recorder, Dec. 15, 1859.
4 The bequest was reported to the Board at its meeting in November, 1836. The
Board then asked C. W. Skinner to consult with Mrs. Blount on the expediency of
disposing of the property and investing the funds. In June, 1842, the Board took
measures to secure a copy of the will, intrusting the matter to Rev. J. E. French. The
will, it would seem, should have convinced the Trustees that the interest of Mrs.
Blount was paramount. Furthermore, the sketch of Mrs. Blount given above makes
it hard to understand why the Trustees should have been so apprehensive that the
estate was being mismanaged and the rights of the College disregarded. Evidence is
not wanting that busybodies, either from interest or natural disposition to meddle,
were constantly filling the ears of members of the Board with alarming tales. In
June, 1843, the Board again had the matter before them, and appointed "brethren
French, Skinner, Wheeler and Moore" a committee to inquire into the condition of
the estate; and Mr. Dockery was asked to correspond with Mr. Moore, an attorney
of Edenton, about the matter. The result of this correspondence was that the next
year Moore presented a bill for $25; he probably did no more than inspect the will
and the inventory of goods. In June, 1844, the Trustees made the proposition to take
over the estate and provide for the support of Mrs. Blount, which offer was
declined. After this for a period of ten years the Board took no further action, but at
its meeting in June, 1854, after hearing a message brought by Rev. Mr. Binford, the
Board appointed N. J. Palmer, a Trustee and also a lawyer, to go to Edenton and to
inquire fully into the condition of the legacy, and if necessary, to employ counsel to
secure the interests of the Trustees, and make any such arrangements with Mrs.
Blount as the case required. Mr. Palmer died on October 7, 1854, seemingly not
having gone to Edenton. The Board meeting in Fayetteville a few days later
requested Messrs. Wheeler and Trotman to go to Edenton and "make the necessary
inquiries" about the estate. Their report at the next meeting of the Board, June,
1855, was evidently not reassuring, and the Board appointed Rev. Q. H. Trotman,
Rev. George Bradford, and T. H. Pritchard, their General Agent, to attend to the
estate and "employ counsel." The Board took no further action until June, 1859,
when it instructed the Secretary to open correspondence with W. N. H. Smith, then
a young lawyer, with reference to the matter. On November 9 of this year Mrs.
Blount died.
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