Administration of Thomas Henderson Pritchard 173
the modern foreign languages, French and German, the first of which
had for several years been taught by Professor W. B. Royall along
with Greek, and the other, German, by Professor C. E. Taylor along
with Latin. It was only in September, 1888, on the election of
Professor Sledd to the department of Modern Languages that Dr.
William Royall became Professor of English and was relieved of
responsibility for instruction in French and German.19
The work that Dr. William Royall was now beginning he continued
until his death on January 3, 1893, twelve and one-half scholastic
years. In 1880 he was returning to the College after an absence of ten
years; the greater part of which had been spent in Texas, partly in the
work of the Gospel ministry and partly in educational work.20 In the
fall of 1879 he had come to east Tennessee and taught in a school at
Jonesboro under the management of Dr.
He was now a skilled linguist, well trained in Latin and Greek
Until June, 1880, very meager provision was made for instruction in English in
the College. The courses in Logic and Rhetoric continued to be offered after the
Civil War as a part of the responsibility of the department first called Belles Lettres
and after a few years Moral Philosophy. In addition, beginning with 1870, the
professors of Latin and Greek offered an elementary course in grammar and
composition and Shaw's English Literature, but it is not evident that they regularly
met their classes. It was only when Dr. T. H. Pritchard assumed the presidency that
any serious effort was made to provide for better instruction in English. Pritchard,
himself a master of a good English style, had long been interested in providing for
the teaching of English in College. Even when a very young man he had spoken of
it. And after the Civil War, and in 1872 he had urged that on the College faculty
should be "a master workman, whose powers should be entirely devoted to the
English language and literature." How far he was in advance of his time may be
inferred from the fact that in 1872 there was no such college teacher of English in
North Carolina and probably not in the entire South, and very few in the United
States or in England. See Quiller-Couch. On the art of Writing, p. 257. It was 1910
before a chair of English Literature was established at Cambridge University.
20 From the Biblical Recorder of May 28, 1879, we learn that Dr. Pritchard had
seen Dr. Royall at the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, and
that his health had been restored. He had this further to say of him: "Dr. Royall is a
fine scholar, a lovely Christian gentleman and an excellent preacher, and I know
that I but express the sentiment of all who know him when I express the wish that
he would come back to us. We need such men as he is in our State."
21 Biblical Recorder, October 29, 1879.