186 History of Wake Forest College
on the need of common school education than that of colleges. This
was something new. President K. P. Battle of the State University,
who on this occasion spoke immediately afterwards had no other
theme than the need of colleges and universities, but Governor T. J.
Jarvis, who followed Battle, spoke in appreciation of the work of the
churches in creating interest in education in their Sunday schools, and
suggested that the general apathetic attitude of legislators toward
public education might be overcome by demands for larger provision
for common schools by the pulpits of the four leading denominations
of the state. It is interesting to observe further that Pritchard's words
on the need of technical colleges were like seed falling on good
ground, for on the platform were Governor Jarvis and Col. L. L. Polk,
both of whom were soon to be the leaders in creating interest in the
establishment of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and
Mechanical Arts, now State College, which opened its doors to
students eight years later. Such in brief outline was Pritchard's
inaugural address, September, 1879; it is of such importance in the
history of education in North Carolina, that no apology is needed for
giving the fuller outline of it as published in the Biblical
2 "Higher learning comprehends all subordinate degrees of learning, for education
comes from above, not from below.
"It adds greatly to the material wealth of a people for them to be generally
educated, and a large number of facts were adduced showing that the best educated
nations and states were the richest. He stated that nothing was worse done in this
country than farming, the cutting down and wearing out policy of the last hundred
years, the hill sides washed into gullies, and the valleys filled up with sand.... Men
of the highest culture are needed in tilling the soil, and the farmers should respect
their own calling by educating their sons who are to follow it.
"He showed that manufactures paid in some states better than farming. In
Massachusetts, for instance, there are $285,000,000 invested in manufactures, and
$210,000,000 in agriculture, and yet the first yielded an annual profit of $593,000,
and the last only $41,000. He then showed how England, which was behind in
ornamentation in iron, earthenware, glass, porcelain, and certain textile fabrics,
became alarmed. When it was discovered that she was being driven out of the
markets of the world because of the superior education of the artisans of Continental
Europe, England at once went to work and spent six million dollars in founding
industrial and trade schools, and now spends half a million annually to sustain these
schools. It was discovered in 1867 that she had greatly improved, and in 1878 her
exhibition at Paris was equal to any in the world.
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