370 History of Wake Forest College
terial could easily be procured. He closes with these words: "I hope
this subject will receive from the Board of Trustees and the citizens of
the State generally that consideration which a due sense of State pride
as well as its importance demands. Let us in all things, as far as we
can, set up for ourselves; then we shall be as independent as we are
This communication was answered two weeks later in the same
paper by a letter over a signature "O," doubtless Professor Owen of
the College, who spoke of how favorably he first regarded the
proposition, but mentioned some objections. First, he doubted
whether the charter of the College conveyed the right to establish a
professional school, while the institution at Chapel Hill could do so
without having "to splice its wings;" again, it was no time to divert
attention from the struggle to pay the College debt and provide
endowment ; third, the medical colleges of the Virginia institutions
were yet in the stage of experiment, and some of their friends were
regretting that such an experiment had been made; fourth, to equip a
medical school in any adequate way would require a larger sum than
could be obtained in any other way than by Legislative aid. With this,
the matter was dropped.
Another proposition was for the establishment of an Experiment
Farm. It was published by N. J. Palmer in the Biblical Recorder of
November 16, 1850. He thought that the usefulness of the institution
might be greatly extended by such a farm, "in which practical
agriculture might be taught to all who desired instruction in that
department, and useful experiments made as to the adaptation of our
soil and climate to the various products of the earth." The science of
Horticulture might also be taught, and from the gardens of the College
the surrounding country might be supplied at a profit with fruit, fruit
trees and shrubbery. As a means of carrying out the project the
Trustees still had a hundred acres of land east of the railroad well
adapted to the purpose. The railroad offered facilities both for
procuring proper implements and also varieties of seeds and trees and
plants. The information the students of the College gained by
devoting part
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