The Fight for the Charter 55
charter for the Institute lost no time in bringing the matter before the
Legislature which began its session on November 14, 1833. On
December 4, Mr. William H. Battle, a member of the House of
Commons from Franklin County, "presented a bill to establish a
Literary and Manual Labor Institution in the County of Wake." At the
same time Mr. Hargrove of Granville presented a bill to incorporate
the Greensboro Academy and Manual Labor School.3
Both bills were stubbornly opposed in their passage through both
houses of the Legislature, but it is probable that the Greensboro
Academy charter would have been approved as a matter of course had
it come up by itself. The real hostility was against the Wake Forest
The bills were referred to the Committee on Education, that for the
Wake Forest Institute on December 5, and that for the Greensboro
Academy on December 7.4
On December 11, the Committee on Education reported the bills
favorably "with sundry amendments." The chairman of this
Committee was Mr. R. H. Alexander, representative from the town of
Salisbury. It was owing to the fact that he was a man able to detect the
sophistry of the arguments against the bills that the charter was
granted by the Legislature. His name deserves to be held dear forever
at the College along with that of William D. Moseley, Speaker of the
Senate. According to the Raleigh Register, Mr. Alexander on
reporting the bills made a statement justifying a favorable report.
Fortunately Mr. Coon has found this statement among some
unpublished documents.5 With the omission of the first paragraph it is
as follows
3 House Journal, 1833-34, p. 166. Though I consulted the Legislative documents
independently, the reader may save time by using the valuable work of Coon:
Public Education in North Carolina, pp. 660 ff., in the Publications of the North
Carolina Historical Commission.
The Mr. William H. Battle, was a brother of Rev. Amos J. Battle, who built the
South Brick House, and the father of President Kemp P. Battle of the State
4 Ibid., p. 168. 5 Public Education in North Carolina, pp. 660 ff.
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