104 History of Wake Forest College
in ignorance." Issue of February 26, 1873. "Yes, it is time for every
man who loves his country to be alarmed. The children of the State
are growing up in ignorance, and parents are either blind or
indifferent to the education of their offspring. Raleigh sends to school
only about one-fifth of the boys who ought to go, and about two-
thirds of the girls of Raleigh of suitable age to attend school are either
at home, put out for their food and clothing or serving as hirelings at
$1, $2, or $3 a month." As a remedy Mills would have a schoolhouse
in reach of every child, an increased tax for schools, and constant
discussion in the public press and from the platform. Issue of March
12, 1873. In closing Cobb urged the creation of public sentiment
among the people in favor of general education, which he thought
could be done only by such a general canvass as the one in prospect.
So great was the interest in this subject, in the discussion of which
Dr. Sears and Dr. Tupper of Shaw University took large part, that it
was continued next morning in the time allotted to discussion of plans
for endowment. Cobb's address was immediately published and
copied in the local papers. It is found in the Biblical Recorder of
March 19, 1873. It brought home to the promoters of the endowment
canvass a realization that the awakening of the Baptists of the State to
the importance of general education was a part of their campaign. The
effect was that discussion of elementary education was not neglected
in the regional educational conventions, in the associations and in the
churches. However the campaign might have failed of its objective in
the matter of raising endowment for Wake Forest College, it cannot
be denied that it did create and stimulate interest in general education
among the Baptists of the State and others also. It availed nothing to
talk of college education to parents whose children could not read and
write and who themselves did "not know a letter in the book," and the
speakers in the canvass often devoted their time to urging the
importance of elementary education.
There is ample evidence that this discussion of our educational
needs was powerfully effective in promoting interest in general
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