Agency of Wingate 275
of means were opposed to it, which Wingate supposed not true.
Another difficulty was that in the campaign for paying the debts of
the College which had lasted now a dozen years, the people had
wearied of hearing of the College. "It is College, College, College,
forever! Will the cry of College never cease?" Yes, replied Wingate,
Wake Forest is like a child; it has been hungry and has had to be fed;
without assistance it would have died long ago; the thing to do is to
provide it a proper support; it must not be allowed to die now when it
will be of real value; "it is plain that the well being, nay the very
existence of the denomination in any really living, moving state is
bound up with the success of this enterprise." Our fathers did their
best, "and it were ingratitude to them, and to God, should we
Another difficulty was the proneness of men to make excuses. One
of these excuses, which Wingate evidently thought feigned, was that
so many were in debt. They are using their money to tear down their
barns and build larger, adding slave to slave and farm to farm, and
developing a timber or turpentine business. The cause of the College
is good, but they need all their money and more in their business;
their neighbors, they say, have money and are liberal; go to them.
These neighbors when approached explain the true nature of their
neighbors' debts and are so resentful that they give nothing
themselves. Wingate wonders how God judges such neighbors.
Another difficulty is that the churches and the ministering brethren
leave all for the agent to do; their people are wholly uninformed and
suspicious of agents generally; they would give to one in whom they
had entire confidence whereas the agent is an entire stranger.
All difficulties, however, had to give way before the zeal of Win-
gate, for he was bringing the churches and their members to see in the
College one of the great instrumentalities for raising them to the
position they should occupy to fulfil their true mission, while
previously they had been suffering and bleeding at every pore for
want of it.
Ibid., February 10, 1853.