280 History of Wake Forest College
short time which was extending itself to every quarter. Cheering reports came from
different brethren that there was now a settled determination on the part of the
denomination to endow the College at once. The report also of Brother Wingate, the
Agent, was to the same effect. He stated that about twenty-five thousand dollars had
already been raised for the endowment, and that nearly twelve thousand of this had
been secured within the last three of four months. All this was indeed refreshing to
spirits depressed by so long a night of gloom. We felt that the day had dawned, a
day of hope, a day of bright success to our beloved College.
Others also felt an enthusiasm like that expressed in the letter
quoted. In the same paper similar views in more restrained language
are found in a report of the Convention by "Milton," N. J. Palmer; in
the issue for December 23, 1853, "Trustee" from Murfreesboro,
probably Dr. S. J. Wheeler, declares that daylight had beamed on
Wake Forest; that the amount raised by Wingate was $27,000, with
$10,000 additional in prospect or already raised; that the College
stood and would ever stand an evidence of the moral courage of those
who in the midst of dismay and doubt did not despair; that the
Trustees had already instituted improvements that would mean a new
order of things at Wake Forest.
Great as was the success of Wingate and as much pleased as were
many friends of the College, yet there were some who were ready to
call attention to the remarkable success of the campaigns for
endowment of Furman University and Richmond College, for each of
which about a hundred thousand dollars had been raised in a year, for
Furman $14,000 in the Charleston and Welsh Neck Associations in
two weeks. Why should the Baptists of North Carolina not do as well
for Wake
Forest?16
Somewhat later attention was called to the fact
that Maxwell Chambers, a citizen of Salisbury, "a member of no
church," who died on February 7, 1854, had left Davidson College a
bequest of $250,000, and had some time before given that college
cotton mill property to the value of $25,000. "Wake Forest can not
even reckon certainly on $50,000," said the writer.
17
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16
Ibid., December 16, 1853, letter of "A friend of the Endowment."
17
Ibid., March 1, 1854. Letter of T. H.
Pritchard.
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