400 History of Wake Forest College
In 1844 the College gave him the Master of Arts degree, and in 1874
that of Doctor of Divinity. After the death of his first wife, who was
Miss Emily Fort, on April 14, 1862, he married Miss Susan Delaney
Ray who nursed him tenderly during the long six-year period when he
was confined for the most part to the house and often to his bed. He
died on January 16, 1883, in his seventy-fourth year, "His death was
as calm and peaceful as the falling to sleep of an
Professor W. H. Owen has also borne testimony to his fine qualities
as a man and a teacher. Answering the charges that Rev. P. W. Dowd
had made in the Biblical Recorder against Brooks he says: "If I
understand the article referred to, Elder Dowd's charges, or rather
insinuations, against Professor Brooks, are two: first of great defects
of character, second of incompetent in his profession. Ten years daily
association ought to qualify me to speak about these insinuations.
During this time I have ever found Professor Brooks tenderly
conscientious, just in his dealings with his fellow men, and
gentlemanly in his manners. It is not for me, nor for any other, to
pronounce him to be or not to be a Christian, except so far as this
character may be inferred from an upright walk and conversation. But
I am justified in saying that of the many able and excellent men with
whom I have been associated, or whom I have known as instructors of
youth, I have never known one who tried harder to teach his pupils
`whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report.'
"Of the moral fitness of Professor Brooks for the part he occupies
he could produce much other testimony, which has always
Brooks left a diary which embraces the years he was a student at Wake Forest,
1834-39, and is most valuable for the history of the Institute. Sketches of his life
may be found in the editorial obituary notice by C. T. Bailey in the Biblical
Recorder of January 24, 1883; in a letter of W. B. Royall, Ibid., February 14, 1883;
article by W. B. Royall, Minutes of the Baptist State Convention for 1883,
republished, Wake Forest Student, XXV, 31; article by J. S. Purefoy, Minutes of the
Central Association for 1883, republished with some changes in the North Carolina
Baptist Alamanc for 1884, p. 13.
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