418 History of Wake Forest College
noted here, however, that the college community was saddened on
December 8, 1848, by the death of Rev. Thomas Crocker, a friend of
the College, who was a charter member of the Board of Trustees and
who had done faithful work as agent in 1846. His trouble was chronic
diarrhoea. For more than thirty years he had been active in the work
of the denomination, and was highly regarded by his
In general things were going so well at the College that no one
expected a change of administration. Thus it was year after year. So it
was with the session of 1851-52, which opened well with ten or
twelve more students than in the previous year, as President White
with much satisfaction informed the editor of the Biblical Recorder.
The Trustees then had reason to be surprised when at their meeting in
Wilmington on October 17, 1851, they received a letter from White
tendering his resignation of the presidency, to take effect in June,
1852. Just what reasons White had for his action is not known. It
seems, however, that he was already in communication with friends at
Brownsville, Tennessee who were urging him to come and take
charge of a seminary for girls, the place to which he went on leaving
Wake Forest. Many of his friends-Professor Stephen Morse, his
college mate and former colleague at Wake Forest, and the Merriams
were already in the West, and it is very probable that they were urging
White to join them in a projected enterprise, which, as we shall see,
they afterwards undertook.
In the language of a resolution which the Trustees immediately
passed on receiving White's letter there is a suggestion that he
possibly felt that he was out of harmony with them, the Trustees. In
this resolution they are careful to express to him "the continued
confidence of the Board in the faithfulness and ability with which he
had discharged the duties of his appointment, and their unanimous
and earnest desire that he withdraw his
The committee,
however, reported at a meeting on March 26, 1852,
See Sketches in Biblical Recorder, January 6, 1849.
9 Proceedings, p. 83. The committee consisted of William Hooper, D. S.
Williams, J. S. Purefoy, and N. J. Palmer.
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