304 History of Wake Forest College
But it was evident that Mr. Purefoy was arguing in vain, and probably
some thought that he was laying himself open to charges of treason,
and that the investment of the college funds in Confederate bonds
would be a fine exhibition of patriotism. There is, however, no
indication of this in the minutes. Seeing that a majority of the Trustees
present were ready to endorse the recommendation of the Committee,
Mr. Purefoy offered and secured the adoption of a compromise by
which only $20,000 of the invested funds should be exchanged for
Confederate bonds.17
Still intent, however, on their thorough way of doing things, the
Board passed a motion ordering that any funds coming in hand from
the Blount estate should be invested in Confederate bonds.
It was some months before Mr. Purefoy acted. On January 1, 1863,
he bought the first Confederate bonds, but it was not until March 11
of that year that he sold the State bonds and bought and invested the
proceeds as directed. For the State bonds, face value $17,500, he
realized $23,013.25, the increment being the annual interest and
premium. With this money and other funds collected on endowment,
doubtless in Confederate money, he bought Confederate bonds
amounting to $42,606. This is the amount secured with the
endowment proper. Bonds credited otherwise were exchanged as
follows: Blount estate, $8,710.13; Mims Fund, $500; Merritt Fund,
$2,600; Interest on Education fund, $364.50;
17 The records of the Trustees are not clear. A minute reads that "The Treasurer
was authorized to invest our funds in Confederate bonds at 8 per cent, if they can be
procured." The following minute reads: "On Motion, A Committee consisting of S.
S. Biddle, Purefoy and Skinner was raised to inquire into the expediency of
changing Twenty Thousand Dollars of our Funds From State Bonds to Confederate
bonds." Proceedings, p. 132.
The following note found in the book of the Treasurer J. S. Purefoy, p. 71-2, is
definite and is given here to show the wisdom of Mr. Purefoy: "It is proper to say
here that James S. Purefoy, treasurer of the College opposed the exchanging of the
State bonds for Confederate bonds. The motion in the Board of Trustees was to
exchange the $45,500 for Confederate bonds to get 8 per cent instead of 6 paid by
the state. J. S. Purefoy resisted the whole change, but seeing that he would be beaten
in the vote of the Trustees proposed a compromise to exchange only $20,000. He
argued that the Confederacy was only an uncertain idea while the State was a State
and would so remain. The amendment of J. S. Purefoy prevailed and thus $14,600
was saved, for the $28,000 on account of depreciation in value only realized
$14,600. James S. Purefoy, Mar. 15, 1884."
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