The Endowment, 1870-1873 105
education, especially in the public schools. A comparison of the
reports of the state superintendent of public instruction for the years
preceding the campaign, 1871-72, and the years after, 1873-74 reveals
a surprising change. In the former year the total number of white
children in attendance on the public schools "since March, 1870," in
the eighty counties reporting was 34,294, and of colored children
16,387, a total of 51,681; Cobb making additions for the counties not
covered by the superintendent's report makes the whole number
58,000. The next report, that for 1873-74, shows the attendance had
increased to 96,253 whites and 46,667 colored, a total of 142,920.29 A
comparison of the same reports shows that the expenditures for public
schools rose from a total of $115,278.90-$88,022.76 for white schools
and $27,256.14 for colored schools-for the year ending September 30,
1872, to a total of $216,884-$152,205 for white schools and $64,679
for colored schools-for the year June 30, 1874. The tax rate on the
hundred dollars valuation for school purposes was raised by the
General Assembly of 1873-74 from six and twothirds cents to eight
and one-third cents. While it might be invidious to say that all this
remarkable advance in public school interest was due to the education
campaign which the Baptists of the State put on in 1873 for the
endowment of Wake Forest College, it cannot be denied that no little
part of it can be justly credited to it. The Baptists initiated the
movement and were its chief promoters.
It is well here to call attention to the fact that the interest so
powerfully manifested by the Baptists in the common schools at this
meeting and in this campaign for the endowment of the College has
continued to this day. That interest was not allowed to die with the
close of the campaign for endowment, but especially until the close of
the century was cultivated among the Baptists of the
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29
Only the public schools are covered in the above figures. With less than half
the counties reporting, the number in private schools in 1872-73 was 7,095. All both
in the public and private schools between the ages of six and twenty-one seem to be
included in the table of the Federal census for 1870, shown on pp. 87ff. of the
superintendent's report for 1872-73, where the total number is given as 65,301.
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