The Endowment, 1870-1873 91
The canvassers and secretaries to whom was committed the task of
soliciting the money did not immediately take the field. From frequent
communications it is evident that Wingate was firmly convinced that
a campaign of education was first necessary.9 According to the plan
agreed upon by the committee that campaign was to begin with an
educational convention to be held in Raleigh. Expressions of approval
came from prominent men in the denomination, and the formal call
for the meeting was published in the Biblical Recorder of December
25, 1872. All pastors, teachers and friends of education were invited
to attend. The meeting was set for February 11, 1873, and the two
following days; the purpose was declared to be "to consult on the best
interests of education as connected with the Baptist denomination in
this State." Soon an elaborate program was published in which many
of the ablest Baptist educators and ministers of the State were
assigned parts and the discussion both in prepared papers and in
speeches of nearly every phase of education in North Carolina was
provided for. The endowment of the College was set as the topic of
discussion for the meetings of the third and last day. It was a very
heavy program and soon fears were expressed that the meetings
would be dull, so dull that only a few would have the patience and
courage to attend
them.10
The same fear seems soon to have got hold
of the members of the committee and they made urgent appeals to
former students of the College, ministers and friends of education to
be present.11 Half fares were secured on the railroads. But when the
convention assembled on the evening of February 11, the attendance
was "thin," and so it seems to have continued for the remainder of the
meetings, although on Wednesday evening the members of the
Legislature were invited to hear the discussion on common schools,
and a number of prominent men not Baptists who were friends of
education were in most of the meetings. The papers, many of which
were
―――――――
9 See his numerous articles in the Biblical Recorder of December, 1872, and
January, 1873.
10 Biblical Recorder, January 22, 1873.
11
Biblical Recorder, January 8, 29, 1873.
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