Administration of John Brown White 421
that "the increase in his salary was in consequence of an under-
standing that he would remain permanently at the College." The
records suggest that White sought a modification of this order.
Settlement had not yet been made with him in June, 1856, but on the
eleventh day of that month, the Trustees ordered that he should be
paid $1,000 for his last year's
Several reasons may be suggested for his desire to leave Wake
Forest. In all probability, though the greater number of the Trustees
who attended the meetings were friendly, White was not allowed to
forget that he was a Northern man and a friend of Dr. Francis
Wayland. Certain prominent Trustees did not attend the meetings of
the Board in these years. Among them was Mr. C. W. Skinner, who in
June, 1850, wrote a letter to the Board asking a settlement of his
account for the North Brick House, which brought a sharp reply.
Furthermore, we do well to remember that the urge to go West was
strong in those days. Again, it is also very probable that White was
confirmed in his decision to leave by the fact that he received very
little support in his courageous and faithful effort to have a committee
of the Raleigh Association of 1852 investigate the reported
scandalous conduct of its moderator, of which mention has been made
in another
Most contradictory estimates of White's ability and fitness for his
place in the class room and as president have come down to us. All
are agreed, however, that his character was above reproach. He left
off a lucrative practice of the law for conscientious reasons; he had a
modest estimate of his own abilities,
13 The records do not leave it clear at what periods from entering on his office in
June, 1849, till his final leaving it in December, 1853, White did not perform the
duties of it, but it seems that for some of that period at least Professor Owen was
acting-president. It is clear that Owen handed out diplomas in June, 1853. Professor
J. H. Foote, Wake Forest Student, XXVIII, 335, certainly with some inaccuracy
says: "Rev. John B. White resigned as President in 1852, and Professor Owen was
President pro tem. for two years."
It seems that White left Wake Forest shortly before the expiration of the fall term
of 1853. Biblical Recorder, January 6, 1854.
See resolution offered by White in the minutes of the Raleigh Association for
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