336 History of Wake Forest College
asked all pastors and missionaries to act as agents to secure the
renewal of the forfeited notes and to raise the $3,000 which the school
building was estimated to cost. But it was too late. The nation was on
the eve of the Civil War; already John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry
had greatly excited the entire country and the excitement had greatly
increased during the Presidential campaign of 1860; plans for new
schools were no longer thought of.
One of the first Associations to take steps for the establishment of a
High School preparatory to Wake Forest College was the Chowan. At
its meeting in 1851 it passed a resolution to establish a male Academy
in its bounds, stating "that the proposed institution would be auxiliary
to Wake Forest College." It also nominated a Board of Trustees for
the institution. At the meeting of the Association in 1852 a new board
of Trustees was appointed in place of the old. In 1853 the committee
on the school reported that the Trustees had added to their
membership several from the neighborhood in which they had
decided to locate the school and had selected as its site the summit of
the rising ground nearly in front of the Piney Grove Church at
Reynoldson in Gates County. This site like that of Bethel Hill of the
Flat River Academy was within a mile or two of the Virginia line.
Such sites on the edge of their territory seemed especially attractive to
Trustees of Associational Schools.
The minutes of the Chowan Association for the years 1854 and
1855 have nothing to say of the new school, but we learn from the
Biblical Recorder of August 17, 1854, that the Trustees had given the
school the name of the Chowan Reynoldson Seminary. Considerable
time was spent in the erection of the building and the school was not
opened until September 20, 1855.46 The following account of it is
taken from the History of Chowan Baptist Association, by Rev. James
A. Delke, who was the first principal of the school
A large, commodious and handsome building was erected, nicely
finished, and furnished with more than the usual academic outfit. A
small but choice selection of Chemical and Philosophical Apparatus
46 Biblical Recorder, August 23,
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