240 History of Wake Forest College
visited several churches on both sides of the Blue Ridge, and then set
off to attend the Baptist State Convention of South Carolina. On his
journey he visited the Furman Theological Institution. Possibly he
secured some subscriptions in that State, and it is certain that he got
the promise of some students to add to the number which that State
already had at Wake
After returning home Wait suffered from ill health, so that he was
unable to continue his work on the agency. Soon it became clear that
his illness was quite serious; it kept him confined for several months
during the first half of the year 1844, and he became much alarmed
about himself. Through George S. Stephenson, a former student of the
College, and in 1844 an attorney of New Bern, he laid his case before
Dr. Bond, a physician of that town, who, after considering the
symptoms, as is reported in Stephenson's letter to Wait under date of
March 21, 1844, was convinced that Wait had asthma, and advised a
change of climate from Wake Forest to the softer atmosphere of New
Wait also wrote a description of his symptoms to Dr. Joseph
Sewell, Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in the School of
Medicine of Columbian College, probably an old friend, who in
general approved the diagnosis and treatment of Wait's physician,
probably Dr. W. M. Crenshaw.
According to Professor White in a letter to the Biblical Recorder,
January 24, 1846, it was during the depression of this illness that Wait
determined to resign the presidency of the College, as will be told
With the return of fine weather Wait regained his health. Reporting
at the Commencement of 1844 on the progress
he stated that
not quite three thousand dollars had been subscribed.
assurances of their disposition to cooperate in the cause of education and in every
good word and work, Voted, unanimously, that we cordially welcome these
assurances, and give in charge to our delegates to their Convention (S. Wait,
R. Babcock, L. DuPre, N. A. Purify, and W. A. Atkinson), to assure them that we
are ready to enter into any wise and prudent arrangement with them for promoting
the great objects we are both laboring to secure; and especially for arranging such
plans for our educational interests, as may combine our endeavors in the most
economical and efficient manner."
Letter in Biblical Recorder, February 10, 1844.
Letter in Biblical Recorder, July 6, 1844.