566 History of Wake Forest College
[possibly a misprint for prosy] harangue on Fluxions, describes some principle of
the Conic Section, or is willing to entertain with his Geometry. He soon perceives,
however, that the fair creature has no use for such erudition and is eager to escape
any advice that may not explain her future prospects.
In 1842 the address before the Societies was by Rev. Simeon
Colton, a graduate of Yale University in the class of 1806, later a
Congregational minister and a teacher in Massachusetts, but in 1842
and for several years before and after, principal of the celebrated Hay
Mount High School in Fayetteville, and known for his interest in
education and internal improvements. (See his Railroad Report in the
North Carolina Historical Review, XI, 205 ff., edited by A. R.
Newsome.) His subject was Education which he treated in a speech of
much literary merit and wealth of thought.
In it one may be surprised to find discussion of many educational
problems which we are accustomed to regard as peculiar to our own
century. In introducing his topic he called attention to the
"Experiments and theories, and books and schemes, and projects,
which had followed close on the heels of one another during the past
In the next division of his subject Mr. Colton calls attention to the
lack of national spirit among the people of the country, sees in it the
seeds of disunion, and pleads for a national system of education, in
which alone could a common national interest and feeling be
developed, and demanded also a National University, "a rallying point
to every section-a common centre, whence an influence should go
forth that should reach every part of the nation."
In the third division of his subject which was on "Discipline in
College Education" he called attention to the democratic spirit as the
most valuable feature of American collegiate training; but one is
chiefly interested in what he said about common school education
which just then was starting in North Carolina. In