When I consulted Dr. R. D. W. Connor, now Chief Archivist of
the National Archives, as to what I should include in a history of
Wake Forest College, he said: "Put in everything; no one will ever
work over again the documents from which you draw your account,
and what you omit will be permanently lost to the history of the
College and the State."
With this admonition in mind I have prepared the present volume,
covering the period from 1834 to 1865. By relegating much matter
to footnotes and adding to the number of pages I have approximated
the ideal; at the same time I have made the work a kind of source
book for the history of the College, often giving reprints of matter
no longer easily accessible.
The reader will observe that I have tried to make this history of
the College a part of the general history of the State and to interpret
its life and work in relation to the political, social, economic,
religious and educational conditions out of which it arose and which
modified its development from year to year. This has made it
necessary often to refer to contemporary events and to parallel
developments in other educational institutions and to introduce an
account of the Associational academies.
Until the eve of the Civil War, Wake Forest had two fields of
operations; one of these was, of course, local; the other, which was
no less important, was among the churches and their members,
where the agents of the institution labored for more than a quarter of
a century to gain for it a support that meant its very life.
Accordingly, I have told of the faithful and long-continued work of
the numerous agents with almost as much circumstance and detail as
of the internal administration and work of the College.
The division on the Literary Societies, covering 110 pages, was an
afterthought, but to me it has proved one of the most interesting
studies of my volume, since with the full records of the Societies
open before me I was introduced as it were into the very company of
the college students of a century ago, felt the contagion of their
enthusiasm, could see what they did and hear what they said, and