On the same day, October 14, 1853, that the Trustees accepted the
resignation of White they elected Dr. W. T. Brantley to the presidency
at a salary of $1,500. He was a native of Chatham County, who in
early youth had gone to South Carolina, then to Georgia, and then to
Philadelphia, where he was pastor of the First Baptist Church and was
also editor of a national Baptist paper. Two days later, on Monday,
the Board reconsidered the action and elected as president Rev.
Tiberius Gracchus Jones, pastor of the First Baptist Church of
Norfolk, Virginia. It was expected that Jones would accept and he is
named president in the short catalogue of the College found in the
minutes of the Baptist State Convention for 1853. But he disappointed
hopes and before the Commencement of 1854 it was known that he
would not take the place.
After the resignation of White, Owen continued as acting-president.
Although White had left the institution some weeks before the close
of the fall term his departure caused no disturbance. During the
remainder of the fall term and entire spring term the college life went
on well and quietly. Only one member of the four college classes was
absent from the final examinations, and he with permission; and as
the year was coming to a close Professor Owen was able to assure
patrons and friends that, as the external affairs of the institution were
never so prosperous, so in classroom and on Campus all was in a
corresponding state of hopefulness.1
1 Owen's letter in Biblical Recorder, June 1, 1854. In the same paper of
December 23, 1853, "Trustee," probably Dr. S. J. Wheeler, writing from Mur-
freesboro, with much eloquence tells of the prospects of the College: "Day light
beams on Wake Forest. Timid friends may fear no longer, croakers may cease their
complaints and friends rejoice. Wake Forest College which has been so long under
gloomy clouds can now come forth to bless the hopes of those who have stood by
her in the darkest hour of her peril." etc.
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