266 History of Wake Forest College
professors, for surely these two men who had been in the State less
than two years, and one of them only a few months, could not have
been considered proper men to secure money among a people
The main concern of the Trustees in the next
ten years was the payment of the debts.
Accordingly, when, in the Biblical Recorder, of July 3, 1847, Dr. S.
J. Wheeler raised the question of endowment for the College and
submitted a plan and called for criticism, agent W. H. Jordan replied
that his plan was premature, and that the debt was the first
consideration. After three years, with the debt provided for, the time
seemed to the Trustees proper for raising an endowment. The plan
proposed by the committee appointed for the purpose was the
endowment of a professorship or professorships of the value of ten
thousand dollars each, with the provision that any person giving that
sum would have the privilege of having the professorship thus
endowed named for himself or whatever other name he should think
proper. An agent was to be appointed with a salary not to exceed $800
to secure subscriptions for this
The agency was offered to
Dr. Wait, but he declined to serve. Then the employment of an agent
was referred to the Executive Committee. At the October meeting the
agency was offered to Rev. J. J. James, who also declined; then it was
offered to Rev. J. S. Purefoy on the same terms-$800 a year and
necessary traveling expenses, both to collect money already pledged
on debts and money to endow one or more professorships-and he
accepted. Thus Mr. Purefoy began his work for the endowment which
he continued with some intermissions for the remainder of his active
After considering the matter for a few months the Trustees had
come to the conclusion that ten thousand dollars was not sufficient-
amount to endow a professorship and increased the amount to fifteen
thousand dollars, with the further stipulation that the money should be
invested under the direction of the Board of
As Mr. Purefoy was starting on his agency, Professor Wm. H.
Owen published in the Biblical Recorder of November 23, 1850, a
letter commending him and the College. Professor Owen in the
Proceedings, p. 28.
Proceedings, p. 74
Proceedings, p. 78 f.