100 History of Wake Forest College
are now seen at last. It must be the place. We cannot be put off much longer.
Happily we meet a man. "How far friend, to the Springs?" "Not half a mile." "Do
we keep this road?" "You can if you choose." It turned out that we were obliged to
keep it or take to the woods. Here we are at last, at the foot of the Sauratown moun-
tains. The Pilot is not far off. The Blue Ridge can be plainly seen. The
accommodation is good; the Springs charming; the cascade is beautiful; the
company delightful. I wish I could linger here a long time, but I must away
tomorrow.
The following from the pen of Rev. F. H. Ivey, the assistant of
Wingate in this campaign, indicates something of Wingate's
unassuming native majesty: "But what have I to do? Why need I feel
any burden of responsibility? There stands the great leader of our
hosts-the Ajax-Telamon of this endowment movement rising strongly,
grandly to the height of this great argument, so that all Baptist eyes, in
the valley and on the mountains, are turned up to him, and catch the
light which he reflects from heights which men of ordinary stature
have not attained."
Financially, however, the campaigns up to this time, beginning with
that of Jones in July, 1867, and ending with the abandonment of the
campaign of 1873-74 by the Trustees in June, 1874, had been a
failure, adding on the average hardly a thousand dollars a year to the
endowment.26
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26 The following from an article by J. H. Mills, "That Black Gum Rail," in the
Biblical Recorder, August 22, 1874, shows how the various campaigns were
regarded by that discriminating contemporary: "At the end of the war, the Trustees
started, instead of a college, only a private preparatory school. The preparatory
school still fetters the feet of the College and prevents it from stepping upward in its
grade of scholarship. But the College was opened and organized, and then
endowment was sadly needed.
"Elder R. B. Jones, a man of clear head, pious heart, and incisive tongue, was
employed as agent. Everywhere people said: `Brother Jones, negroes are free,
Confederate money is spoiled, the South is ruined, and we can't endow a college.'
The Lord, in love and mercy, took his faithful servant home. Elder R. R. Overby
was his successor. He preached some able sermons on benevolence, and delivered
many soul-stirring addresses on education. He sometimes made encouraging
collections: but the toil and worry of such a work told on his health, and he returned
to the pastorate. Then came Elder John Mitchell, a man without family, and without
infirmity; a man who like charity 'beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all
things.' ‘Charity never faileth,' but Elder Mitchell failed to endow the College,
though he did well in some places.
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