The Fight for the Charter 57
political power is vested in and derived from the people, it becomes the duty of the
Legislature to diffuse information and knowledge amongst the people. And it does
appear to your Committee that this duty can be performed to a great extent by
passing these bills into laws and enacting others of a like character. In doing so, we
are not impugnating another section of our Constitution which forbids the
establishment of one religious church in this State in preference to any other.
This statement shows that the opposition to the bills was very
serious. Dr. Hufham says 6 that the principal opposition came from
anti-missionary Baptists. Their leader at this time, whom Dr. Hufham
describes without naming as "a man of unusual ability and great force
of character, though without culture," was Elder Joshua Lawrence of
the Kehukee Association. He prepared a pamphlet which was entitled
"A North Carolina Whig's Memorial and Remonstrance," signed it
"Clod Hopper," and laid a copy on the seat of every member of the
Legislature.7 Though this pamphlet is no longer extant, the character
of its argument may be judged from the statement of Mr. Alexander
given above. We get more particular information in a review of it
found in the issue of the Baptist Interpreter for January 4, 1834. From
this we learn that the opponent of the charter for the Institute had
warned the Legislature that the incorporation of a Theological School,
with clear reference to Wake Forest Institute, would entail "a
meddling with religious matters, . . . the making of laws in matters of
religion, . . . a trespassing on the Kingdom of God, . . . the supporting
and maintaining of a Christian ministry," while such Theological
Schools were more dangerous than the Spanish Inquisition, and "the
first step to a rich church and a proud and pompous ministry ; that
they always have been, are now, and ever will be a curse to the
6 How We Got the Charter," Wake Forest Student, Vol. XVII.
7 Dr. E. W. Sikes in his excellent article on "Wake Forest Institute," in the
Bulletin of Wake Forest College for January, 1909, speaks of two articles, one
signed "Clod Hopper" and another, "The Remonstrance of an Old Time Whig," but
very likely the learned author was mistaken. All other authorities speak of only one
pamphlet, that by Lawrence signed "Clod Hopper." See Pittman, "A Decade of
North Carolina History," in the News and Observ`er, April, 1910.
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