610 History of Wake Forest College
were received during the period of the Institute, 1834-39. Two of
these were poorly prepared and left college after a year, and only one
of them became a minister. One of the others, E. F. H. Johnson, of
London, being most kindly treated by the Convention, did very poor
work, making grades of 30 and 35, and ended by leaving without
notice, to the great disappointment and dissatisfaction of the Board of
Managers; after he left college there is no further record of him.16 Of
the four only William Jones graduated, being one of the four in the
first graduating class, that of 1839.
Since the avowed purpose of the Convention was to give the Bap-
tist churches of the State an efficient ministry,17 the Board of the
Convention desired that its beneficiaries should get all that the
College had to offer them and remain until graduation. What the
Baptists needed in their ministers were men "trained to the severest
thought, and enriched with the treasures of knowledge."18 These could
not be produced by a short and partial work, but only by a complete
college course, involving "a laborious course of study, close thinking
and discipline."19 Accordingly, the Board expressed its severe censure
when Johnson left their patronage in 1839, nor did it withhold
manifestation of its disapproval of Matthew Tyson Yates for a similar
offense. As the college records show Yates left the College on May 2,
1844, and did not return until the opening of the spring term of 1845,
the next January. Yates had left to make some money to help pay his
expenses. Coming before the Board at its meeting in Raleigh on
October 14, 1844, he was told that, while the Board respected his
feelings in leaving his studies yet they felt bound to disapprove of his
course, especially as he had not duly advised with the faculty. The
Board, however, voted to receive him again into its patronage. At the
same time, after a lengthy dis-
16 At its meeting on November 4, 1839, the Board passed the following resolu-
tion: "Resolved, That the Board disapprove of the conduct of E. H. Johnson, who
left his studies and the patronage of the Convention without permission or
consultation." The "Record Book" of the Wake Forest Church shows that Johnson
in August, 1839, assaulted a fellow student, and after he had made his peace with
the church on that charge, asked for a church letter.
17 Minutes of the Convention for 1842, J. B. White's Report on Education.
18 Minutes for 1849, p. 25.
19 Minutes of Convention for 1848, p. 19.