546 History of Wake Forest College
of a college course?" which they decided in the affirmative by a vote
of 13 to 5.
The following questions are interesting as indicative of the popular
interest in college education at that time. In November, 1847, the
Euzelians debated the query, "Are Literary institutions productive of
more evil than good?" In April, 1848, the same Society discussed
"Whether the South should not patronize its own institutions rather
than those of the North?" and in May, 1857, the affirmative of the
question, "Ought the South to establish a great Southern University?"
was stoutly maintained by Dargan, of South Carolina, and others, and
as stoutly assailed by Ivey and others. "After a long and highly
interesting debate," says the record, "the vote was taken and decided
in the negative 10 to 9." In February, 1840, the same Society had after
debate voted favorably, 18 to 8, on the expediency of Congress
establishing a great national university. In March, 1853, the
Philomathesians debated a similar question with a like result.
The young men were also interested in the question of general
education. In less than a year after the Legislature had provided that
the counties might vote a tax for free schools the Euzelian Society
was debating the question.30 The Philomathesians in February, 1851,
discussed the question of public or private schools, one that was long
afterwards still discussed with no little acrimony by loiterers around
country stores. It seems that in 1844 there was some discussion of the
feasibility of the Legislature's establishing reading rooms in the
counties of the State. In August of that year the Euzelian Society
discussed it and decided that it was impracticable. On several
occasions educational qualifications for voting and compulsory
education were up for discussion, more often in the Euzelian than in
the Philomathesian Society.
Of the religious and moral questions it is possible to select only a
few of the great number. One great moral question which the young
men of both Societies wanted to settle by debate was
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30 Eu. Records, August 17,
1839.
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