Administration of Washington Manly Wingate 429
Rev. J. J. James coming to the editorship of the Biblical Recorder
in January, 1854, was not slow to manifest his interest in the College,
and urged students not to be deterred from coming to Wake Forest by
the roads and the very inclement weather of that year.2 On the first
day of the session Monday, January 16, 1854, more students were
registered than on the first day for some time, several of whom were
brought by that strong friend of the College, Rev. Q. H. Trotman of
Bertie.3 Of the students fifteen were studying for the ministry. James
visiting the institution in March gave a glowing report of the
condition and its equipment of scientific apparatus recently purchased
by Professor Walters after consultation with heads of colleges in the
North.4 A writer with the signature of "Simeon" strove to stimulate
interest in the institution by a series of articles, largely theoretical,
under the head, "Wake Forest College."5
At the Commencement in June, 1854, there was much enthusiasm.
A class, some of whom proved as able men as any that the College
ever turned out, were finishing their course at this time. These were J.
H. Mills, T. H. Pritchard, J. C. Patterson, J. J. Williams, and R. P.
Jones. To these should be added W. T. Faircloth, who in some dispute
about honors refused to take his diploma.6 The annual sermon was by
Rev. H. H. Fuller, the address before the Literary Societies by Rev. T.
B. Jones, who had declined the presidency, and there was also an
address on education by Rev. Basil Manly, Jr., then of Richmond,
Virginia. The sermon and the two addresses were published together
in a pamphlet copies of which are extant. They still are readable and
merit the favor they received when delivered.
The Board of Trustees had much to encourage them. The
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2 Biblical Recorder, January 20, 1854. Mr. James assured the students that when
they had reached Wake Forest "the roads would not be in their way," and that "dark
days and long nights are the best season for study."
3 Ibid., January 27, 1854, Owen's letter. Also March 1, 1854.
4 Ibid., March 24, 1854.
5Ibid., March 24, 1854, and succeeding issues.
6 Pritchard, "The Class of 1854," Wake Forest Student, XI, 224 ff.; a brief but
interesting account.
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