544 History of Wake Forest College
character they debated the question, "Are ladies in general fond of
flattery?" and also "Are flirtations under any circumstances
justifiable?”20 They also often convinced themselves after lengthy
debates that it was morally right to steal a wife.21 A more immediate
question and one they often sought to resolve by debate was "Should
the Collegiant frequent any society of females?"22 And if so, should
he do it voluntarily.23 Often questions in relation to women concerned
their education, which is considered next.
Some of the questions with reference to the relation of the sexes, as
outlined above, may seem light if not trivial. This is doubtless true of
some of them; they were probably introduced to offer diversion and to
relieve the strain of more serious discussion. About many of them,
however, the young men were dead in earnest, as they were about the
great number of educational questions, relating to the major
educational interests of that day discussed in the years from 1835 to
One of these questions that almost from the foundation of the
Societies was agitating the Baptists of North Carolina was the duty of
providing for the young women education comparable to that
provided for the young men of the State at the University and at Wake
Forest. In the year that Wake Forest opened as a college the
Philomathesians were debating the question, "Is the education of
females as much entitled to the consideration of an enlightened people
as that of males?"24 As early as 1836 the Baptist State Convention
was considering this question and it remained vital for many years.
Other questions connected with the education of women were: Are
they capable of receiving a classical education? yes, they decided that
they were, although
20 Eu. Records, November 13, 1847; March 10, 1849.
21 Phi. Records, March 28, 1848; Eu. Records, January 20, 1860.
22 Eu. Records, October 17, 1838.
23 Phi. Records, February 22, 1846.
24 Ibid., August 31, 1839, "it was argued by Gent. Lane and Oliver aff. vs. Gent.
Joyner and Brewer Neg. Was decided in Aff." James Joyner, Pitt Co., later a lawyer;
J. A. Oliver, Duplin Co., Architect; J. M. Brewer, Wake Forest; J. H. Lane, Marion
Dist., S. C., later a physician.