Already in 1832 Professor William Hooper, then on the faculty of
the University of North Carolina was complaining of the lack of
preparation of students who entered the University of North
Carolina.1 Such was the extent of this deficiency that from the
beginning until the eve of the Civil War the State University and
every college in the North Carolina found it necessary to maintain a
preparatory department to train students for their collegiate classes.
There were a few good preparatory schools in the State but these were
given a very meager and precarious support, with many changes of
teachers, some of whom were most excellent masters.
From this lack of good academies Wake Forest College suffered
severely. Most of the masters were members of other denominations,
and naturally directed their students, even the sons of Baptists, to
other schools than Wake Forest. It soon was seen that what was
needed to correct this condition so disadvantageous to the College
was academies under denominational control. So far as appears from
the records this was first brought to the attention of the Baptists of the
State by Elder Elias Dodson. When he had been in the State hardly a
year as a missionary of the Beulah Association, writing in the Biblical
Recorder of July 19, 1845, he said:
To nourish Wake Forest College there should be three or four
Academies in different parts of the State; one in Bertie, another in
Burke, and a third in Caswell. I hope the Western Convention of
North Carolina will consider this subject and act promptly. They
could do essential service to Wake Forest College by having a pre-
paratory school in Burke or some adjoining county. Yanceyville is a
good location for a school. When the Baptist Seminary [a preparatory
school] was placed in Richmond, some thought it would injure the
Columbian College. But Elder Luther Rice thought it would be an
advantage. It has been the case, for many have gone from this
institution to the College who otherwise would not.
1 See his address in Coon, North Carolina Schools and Academies, p. 729 ff.