John Mitchell, who was elected to succeed Pritchard as general
agent, had graduated at Wake Forest in the class of 1852 with the
Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1855, he completed his work of two years
in the Furman Theological department of Furman University
becoming a "full graduate," and was ordained in Greenville, South
Carolina. He was a native of Bertie County, in the limits of the
Chowan Association, and on that account likely to be more acceptable
to those of that
While Mitchell did not have the general all
round development of Wingate, nor yet the eloquence and literary
style and analytical powers of Pritchard, he was possessed of good
business qualities, proved a good collector and was able to inspire
confidence in the College rather by private conversation than by
public address. In him as a youth as in his riper years and in old age
piety was a characteristic and predominant trait; many expressions of
his show that he was relying not on human efforts but on God. "I have
met with some warm friends of the College and they cheer me up
wonderfully. The Lord reward them according to his riches in Christ
Jesus." "I am persuaded that if they would now pray as they ought the
endowment would be speedily raised. For Christ's sake they would do
much to promote his cause in the State." "Yours in Christ." "To God
be all the praise." This piety though open was not ostentatious or
offensive, and it was so sweetly blended with his other good qualities
as to make him trusted and loved wherever he
As Mitchell was coming to his work the College was finding that as
an endowment scholarships lessened its revenues rather than in-
creased them. That this was inherent in the nature of scholarships
such as the Trustees offered was either not seen or was disregarded
Minutes of Chowan Association for 1856, Report on Wake Forest College.
The expressions given were copied from Mitchell's letter in the Biblical
Recorder of April 17, 1856, and the minutes of the Chowan Association for 1858.
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