As stated above,1 in February, 1839, our institution, then beginning
operation as a college, was cumbered with a debt of not less than
twenty thousand dollars. To make provision for its payment and at the
same time for the necessary operating expenses of the College
required all the devotion, patience, wisdom, energy and
resourcefulness of the wise and able men who composed the Board of
We have already seen that something was realized from the sale of
a portion of the farm which was no longer needed after the manual
labor feature was abandoned; some was sold for farm land, and some
in town lots. The proceeds from the sale of lots and farm land were,
however, disappointingly small. In their distress the perplexed
Trustees sought and obtained from the Literary Fund of the State
loans amounting to ten thousand dollars, but this was borrowed
money and the obligation to pay it was never forgotten. From
bequests during the period before the Civil War about fifteen
thousand dollars came into hands of the Board, all except one
thousand dollars of which was for the purpose of educating ministers.
This limitation of the gifts, however, meant less in the days when
ministers were charged tuition, and even after they were given free
tuition the Trustees regarded these funds as endowments making free
tuition for ministers possible.
It was then to other sources than those mentioned above that the
College had to look for means of paying its debt and for maintenance.
Accordingly, the Trustees turned to the friends of the College. With
the exception of a few in South Carolina, of whom recognition will be
made in proper place, these friends were all in North Carolina. Before
the Civil War there was no thought of making appeals to rich
philanthropists in the North for the support of Southern educational
institutions. It was quite the
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