Probably the ground of the optimism that was excited among the
Trustees in October, 1844, was the arrangement, mentioned above,
with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, by which Wake Forest
College should be the college for the Baptist of both States, and
Furman Theological Institution should be the theological seminary of
both States. We have seen that under this arrangement Wait had
solicited students in South Carolina in the last months of 1843. The
plan had been proposed by the South Carolina Baptists and had been
gladly received and adopted by their Convention and the College. To
the perplexed and wearied Trustees the proposition must have been
like the smell of water to the tired and thirsty ox. They almost forgot
their burdens under the stimulus of the new hope. With the help of the
wealthy South Carolina brethren, who had not, it seems, been worried
with repeated requests for subscriptions from importunate agents, they
felt sure that not only the Berry debts but the debt to the Literary Fund
and all other debts might be promptly paid. There is evidence that
some of them reflected that the way would be easier, since Wait was
resigning, leaving the way clear for them to carry out a long-cherished
purpose of securing in his place Dr. William Hooper, who was a
Southerner to the manner born and on that account acceptable without
question to the slave-holding Baptists of South Carolina as well as of
North Carolina.
Probably the reason for the employment of short-term agents at the
meeting in October, 1844, was that the Trustees might have more time
to secure the very best possible man for the canvass in South
Carolina. Meeting again in November they elected Rev. A. M.
Poindexter, of Virginia, to have the entire field with a salary of $1,000
a year, but Mr. Poindexter disappointed their hopes and did not accept
the work.1
Not being able to secure Mr. Poindexter the Trustees had to be
content with others of less reputation. We find that both
1 Poindexter in 1852 made a very successful campaign for funds for Richmond
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