396 History of Wake Forest College
with the proviso that his resignation would go into effect with the
close of the next session, that is, in the use of the word "session" in
that day, with the close of the fall term of 1858-59. The Trustees
accepted this, and fixed his compensation for that session at
In the meantime, however, a new element of dissatisfaction with
Owen had found expression, and that was that he was not a Baptist. In
the Biblical Recorder of May 14, 1857, was published "Some Queries
about Pedobaptist Teachers." The writer asked, first, whether it was
proper for Boards of Trustees to employ such teachers for their
schools; second, if they employed such teachers did they have the
right to expect them not to seek to disseminate their own
denominational principles; and third, whether "it was just for a Board
of Trustees to send an agent among Baptists to obtain funds, and then
to use those funds for the spread of Pedobaptist principles. The
attitude of the editor, Rev. J. J. James, is revealed in his answer,
which was to the effect, that such a procedure was unless accidental
"not only an imposture on Baptists, but a fraud on the part of those
who practice it." The energy with which the editor expresses his
opinion might suggest that the queries too were his own, but more
probably they were the proposition of some one of the larger
contributors to the endowment which was just then nearing
completion, for it is no new thing for a certain class of givers to seek
to dictate the policies of those whom they favor with their
benefactions. Editor James was also a member of the Board of
Trustees of the College, and it is beyond question that he saw that this
matter which has
23 At the same meeting the resignation of Adjunct Professor W. T. Brooks,
voluntarily offered, was received on the same terms; it is possible that the presence
of Hugh Owen, the able but intemperate brother of Professor Owen, at Wake Forest
was also one reason for Owen's dismissal. Hugh excited the criticism of the Board
by his visits to the dormitories. Possibly the Trustees had some apprehensions that
Hugh Owen was leading the young men to intemperate habits, but probably a more
just fear was that he was causing them to waste their time, for he was a man of fine
natural gifts, of good education and endowed with those pleasing social virtues that
make one who possesses them so welcome in a group of college students. Biblical
Recorder, July 31, 1861, note of death of his brother on July 2, by Professor Owen.
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