Agency of Mitchell 307
Society, which was printed in the Minutes of the Baptist State Con-
vention for the years 1851-54, we learn that the Society had a Board
of Managers located in Raleigh, that its principal meeting was held in
connection with the meeting of the Convention, that members paid
annual dues of one dollar while one might become a life member by
paying twenty dollars, and that competent speakers were to be asked
to address all the meetings. Mr. Palmer seems to have provided the
programs, and to have made them very attractive, so that the meetings
of the Society became one of the most interesting features of the
Commencement. Among the able speakers who addressed the Society
were A. W. Venable and Rev. Basil Manly, Jr. whose address at the
Commencement of 1854, "A Plea for Colleges," was published in the
Biblical Recorder of June 22 and June 29, 1854. All these meetings
were open to the public and often became educational mass meetings,
in which much interest was stimulated not only by the speeches of the
appointed speakers, but by those of other prominent visitors at
Commencement. As the Society owed its existence to the intelligent
zeal of Mr. Palmer, so it died with him. After his premature death in
October, 1854, we hear no more of its meetings, while after that year
its constitution was no longer printed in the Convention
minutes.24
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24
The Society was organized a second time in Wilmington, October 20, 1851, at
the time of the meeting of the Baptist State Convention. Palmer was the leader,
David S. Williams was chairman of the meeting, and Rufus P. Jones, Secretary. J.
B. White was elected President. (Minutes of Convention for 1851 in which the
constitution of the Society may be found.) For the Society see Biblical Recorder,
June 29, 1844; July 6, 1844, October 26, 1844, June 28, 1845; June 20, 1846;
Minutes of the Baptist State Convention for 1851-54.
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