430 History of Wake Forest College
agent, Rev. W. M. Wingate, reported that of the fifty thousand dollars
he has been asked to raise more than thirty-seven thousand had been
subscribed, and though he asked to be allowed to resign at the end of
the calendar year he satisfied the Trustees that the remainder could be
secured in that time.
With these encouraging financial prospects the Trustees voted to
add two new professorships, one of Moral and Intellectual
Philosophy, the other of Chemistry. For the first they elected Wingate
and at the same time made him President pro tempore, thus solving
the problem of filling the presidency, as they supposed temporarily.
They then proceeded to cast about for a president and voted to make
efforts to secure Rev. Patrick Hughes Mell, Professor of Ancient
Languages in Mercer University, then at Penfield, Georgia, and as an
inducement to him offered a salary of $2,000. But Mell declined the
offer.7 The result was that from this time until his death in 1879
Wingate was head of the College, though he was not formally elected
to the place until June, 1856.8
As Professor of Chemistry the Trustees chose Rev. P. S. Henson,
then teaching in the Chowan Female Institute, but as has been told in
the chapter on Curriculum the committee to whom the matter was
intrusted failed to secure him or Professor Cummings and in the
following November the Trustees elected W. G. Simmons to the
place. There was some disappointment in the delay since the Trustees
were desirous of having the course in Chemistry begun, believing that
especially Agricultural Chemistry would be immensely profitable to
the people of the State.
The salary of Wingate was fixed at $800,and that of the other full
professors, Owens and Walters, was increased to the same amount,
while a hundred dollars was added to the salary of Brooks.
It was under such conditions that Wingate began his long and
distinguished administration. The financial affairs of the College were
better than ever before; all was going well on the Campus;
7 Proceedings, pp. 97 ff.
8 Ibid., p. 108.