Last Years of Wingate's Administration, 1870-79 137
During this period the Baptist leaders of the State were distressed at
the small enrollment. The Rev. Elias Dodson said: "I am bound to say
with sorrow that the Catholics are more true to their schools and
churches than many Baptists are to their schools and churches. The
influence of some Baptists is to destroy their own cause."8 Dr. T. H.
Pritchard, for once showing some impatience, said: "it is my solemn
conviction that the parent who is able to send his child to school and
give him the opportunity of a good education and fails to do it, is
guilty not only of grievous wrong to the child, but of a sin against
God, for which he will be called to answer in the day of judgment." A
student further indicates the prevalent attitude of many Baptists of
North Carolina towards education : "Why is there this lack of
representation. I will give what an aged man of many years
experience and close observation says about the matter. He says that
the Baptists of North Carolina, with a few honorable exceptions, do
not want, and are not going to have an education." 9 But when we
consider that in all the colleges for men then open for students in the
State there were not more than 350 students in 1874, and probably not
more than 260 students from North Carolina in colleges of other
states,10 we realize that the Baptists were not alone in their neglect of
education. The neglect was general. As we have seen above, interest
in elementary education was at its lowest ebb in 1872, and did not
show any signs of revival until the next year. It was much the same
with interest in secondary education. Our people are not educating,
said Pritchard. The general situation with reference to academies is
told by Elder J. S. Purefoy:
"One Association of 2,400 members in the State, composed of
noble whole-souled members with good health and hearts, renowned
for liberality and equal to others in intelligence, have within their
bounds no Baptist preparatory school, and not more
to return.... Careful inquiry has proved that they have not gone to other colleges-
they are at home." Ibid. July 31, 1872.
Biblical Recorder, July 24, 1872.
9 Ibid., July 24 and 31, 1872.
Ibid. January 7, and July 14, 1874.