During the last years of his administration, 1875-79, President
Wingate was in declining health, his trouble being organic disease of
the heart. His physician, a Philadelphia specialist, had given him hope
of living as much as five years only if he confined himself to a most
rigid diet, and in June, 1877, ordered him to spend his vacation in the
mountains. Accordingly, he went to Asheville, and except for short
visits to Warm Springs and Hendersonville, spent the month of
August there. Dr. Henry A. Brown was with him part of the time, and
in a letter, in the Wake Forest College Library, gives us this charming
In the early fall of 1877 I spent two weeks with him in the city of Asheville. At
that time Dr. John Mitchell was pastor of the First Baptist Church in that city. We
all boarded in the same building. I never saw Wingate so happy and free from all
care and anxiety. The charming people we met in the hotel, the excellent food that
was served, the bracing atmosphere of the region, the unsurpassed scenery that
greeted our vision in every direction, seemed to make a new man of him physically.
He played games, romped the fields like a child, teased Dr. Mitchell about getting
married, rode out in the country with friends, and engaged in joyous conversation
on all sorts of subjects. Every morning we would have a little season of devotion to-
gether in our room. He would read some appropriate selection of Scripture and give
a sort of running commentary that was full of charm and beauty. He was
wonderfully gifted in prayer and while he prayed his face seemed transfigured, for
he was in conscious communion with his Lord.
Much recuperated by his rest and the diversion Wingate returned
for the opening of the session on September 1,
several letters in the Biblical Recorder Wingate tells of things in and around
Asheville in his most delightful style. I am giving several quotations which will help
to indicate the character of this president of the College: From letter of August 1,
1877: "It has been several years since I visited Asheville, and many changes have
been made; partly in anticipation of the coming of the railroad; partly on account of
the increase of visitors. The
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