Samuel Wait and the Convention 35
Those present at the meeting in Greenville on March 26, 1830, as
shown in the minutes, were P. W. Dowd and R. M. Guffee, of
Raleigh; Wm. P. Biddle, Samuel Wait and John Armstrong of Craven
County; Thos. Meredith of Edenton; Charles W. Skinner of
Perquimans; Elder J. McDaniel of Cumberland; H. Austin, P. P.
Lawrence and R. S. Long of Tarborough; and Thos. D. Mason, Geo.
Stokes and R. S. Blount of Greenville, fourteen in all. Of these, seven,
Dowd, Biddle, Wait, Armstrong, Meredith, McDaniel and Mason
were ministers. On March 27, Brother J. Hartmus of Tarborough;
another delegate, and on March 29, Samuel Simpson of Fort
Barnwell, also came and took their seats.
The minutes show that as the first new business of the meeting the
following resolution was adopted without a dissenting vote: Resolved,
That this Society be transformed into a State Convention.
The motion was made by Wait.6
Immediately thereafter Brother Thomas Meredith read a con-
stitution which he had brought with him already prepared. After some
friendly discussion and a few alterations it was unanimously adopted.7
The readiness with which the Benevolent Society resolved itself
into the "Baptist State Convention of North Carolina," and adopted a
Constitution already prepared would seem to indicate that there had
been previous discussion and argument on this course of action
among the members of the Society. In fact, as
Secretary, wrote a circular letter to many in the State. A copy of the letter is before
me. During the year the report of the Treasurer shows that a total of $225.62 was
received, of which $220.62 went to missions and $35.00 to education.
6 Hufham, N. C. Baptist Historical Papers, Vol. II, p. 229.
7 Dr. Wait in his Journal says: "Never in all my life, have I seen manifested a
better spirit than was exhibited on that occasion. Our late lamented Brother Thomas
Meredith, then living in Edenton, was present, and having anticipated the wishes of
the brethren, had drawn up a constitution, such as he supposed would substantially
embrace their views. This document was read, article by article, and a free and
friendly discussion took place. Some amendments and alterations were made, when
with entire unanimity the constitution was adopted."
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