The Trustees, however, were much interested in chemistry. At a
meeting the Executive Committee on August 30, 1848, four
members of the committee with the endorsement of three other
members of the committee of the Board recommended that Dr. O.
F. Baxter, a graduate of the class of 1840, who had since graduated
in Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, be offered the
position of Professor of Chemistry and Geology, which, however,
he did not accept. In 1852, William T. Walters was elected
Professor of Mathematics. The records of the Trustees add nothing
further, but in the notice of the College beginning with that year
Walters is named Professor of Mathematics and Chemistry. For
Chemistry he had no special qualifications, his only training being
that he had received under Professor White at Wake Forest. It is not
known whether or not he conducted classes in this subject. Six
months later the Trustees made a contingent provision for the
purchase of chemical apparatus. Two years later, when as a result of
the campaign for endowment there was promise of more revenue,
Poindexter S. Henson, of whom some account may be found in the
chapter on associational academies, was elected Professor of
Chemistry, Mineralogy and Geology, at a salary of $800 a year. He
did not accept, nor did a Mr. Cummings, a second person whom the
committee was instructed to procure for the place if Henson should
decline it. Being further instructed, if they failed with Cummings as
well as with Henson, to get a Professor of Chemistry elsewhere if
possible, the Committee did not succeed in getting one at all,
although six members of the Board of Trustees agreed to pay four
hundred dollars, or half his
Perhaps the explanation is that
of which he treated. And it also proved that, though a splendid and costly apparatus
may be desirable, it is not at all indispensable to illustrate all the important
principles of chemical science."
In the Biblical Recorder of March 4, 1848, is an article signed "M," probably
Archibald McDowell, who was then a tutor in the College on meteors. He adopts
the theory that meteors are lumar in their origin and advances the arguments that
were used to support that theory. But he did not convince Meredith.
These were J. S. Purefoy, J. J. James, N. J. Plamer, R. W. Lawson, W. W.
Vass, and S. S. Biddle, Proceedings, p. 101.