Many of the alumni and other students of the College of the period
before the Civil War did some teaching, but the number who may be
definitely classed as teachers is relatively small. Of the graduates the
following did considerable work in teaching or made education the
main work of their lives.
George Washington Collins of the class of 1846, after his
graduation in 1848 returned to his native county of Warren, and was
principal of an academy there for the year 1846-47. Going to
Alabama he died there on May 8, 1848.
In the class of 1850 was Benjamin W. Justice, son of David Justice,
a Trustee of the College, whose home was seven miles west of Wake
Forest. For two years after graduation the young Justice was a tutor in
the College. Then he moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he was
principal of an academy until 1859, when he returned to his native
county. At the opening of the Civil War he entered the army and
attained the rank of captain in the Forty-seventh North Carolina
Infantry. After the War he settled in Raleigh as a merchant. For some
years he served as Secretary of the Sunday School Board. He died
September 22, 1871.
Thomas Cottrell Collins of Warren County graduated in the class of
1851, and for sixteen years was both a planter and teacher in his
native county. In 1867 he moved to Asheville.
In the class of 1852 were three who became famous as teachers.
One of these was William Gaston Simmons, whose work as a teacher
was all in the College and will be told of in the general account. The
other two were Samuel Owen Tatum of Davie and James Henry Foote
of Iredell. After graduation they joined in a school at Farmington in
Davie County. Here Tatum continued, except for the period of the
Civil War, until his death on November 12, 1869. Foote remained at
Farmington until 1856, when he became principal of the Baptist
Institute at Taylorsville. Of his work there an account may be found
under the head of "Associational Academies."
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