362 History of Wake Forest College
distribution of recitations was to leave time between them for study,
not less than two hours of preparation for each class. During this time
the students were required to be in their rooms engaged in the work of
preparation, and to check any disposition to shirk the members of the
faculty would visit the rooms of students frequently during study
hours. 16
Nor were the students free from supervision on Sunday, being
required to attend Divine service in the morning, and in the evening
(probably afternoon) all classes were required to prepare recitations
on some portions of the Bible.17
With an unchanging formal curriculum, however, there might be
from year to year considerable modification in the character of the
work of the students. One important factor in determining the quality
of the student's work was the size of the classes, since more attention
could be given to the individual student in the smaller class. The
classes at Wake Forest were small, and this was especially true of the
higher classes. The first graduation class had four members; the
largest before the Civil War had ten; in several classes there were
only two or three. These small groups, and only they, formed the
classes of the higher classmen that recited to the various teachers.
The striking differences between the course of studies of the
colleges in the first half of the nineteenth century and now have
doubtless been patent to every reader. In the colleges of that day there
was no department of English. In Wake Forest College such English
as was taught was listed under the department of Moral Philosophy.
Though not provided for in the scheme of recitations it was stated that
Exercises in composition was required of all Classes; Declamation
was required of Freshmen and Sophomores, and four original
speeches of the Seniors. In the Freshman Class, also, the statement
emphasizes the importance of
16 Ibid.
17 This was a regulation that held also at the University of North Carolina. In the
catalogue of that institution for 1856-57, p. 29, is the following statement: "All the
classes are required to attend Divine Worship in the College Chapel on Sunday
forenoon, and in the afternoon to recite on the Historical parts of the Old and New
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