188 History of Wake Forest College
inaugural address, but better ordered and more definite: education,
general education, universal education, from elementary subjects to
college and technical and vocational courses, and their
indispensability for the development of the State into a prosperous the
cultured commonwealth was his theme. It was these themes that he
discussed at associational meetings, conventions, commencements of
academies, and in cities.3
The Baptist State Convention meeting at Oxford in November,
1879, had him on the program for a sermon, but voted that he should
give his address on education instead. He was as eager to speak as his
hearers to hear. "Dr. Pritchard stole away from the South Yadkin
Association one night," says Dr. B. H. Phillips, in his report of the
Pilot Mountain Association, "came and made a speech for us on
General Education. We were very glad to have him speak to this
people so eloquently and with so much ‘hard horse sense,' on a
subject of so vital importance to the people of North Carolina at
large." This same topic of general education was the burden of his
speeches before academies. The writer remembers a speech he heard
him make at the closing exercises of Mount Vernon Springs
Academy, Chatham County, in May, 1882, and how eloquently he
pleaded for education of all kinds, but emphasized the fact of how
deficient North Carolina was in skilled artisans and agriculturists; the
people, some 2,000 of them from a radius of thirty miles, hung on his
words. Nothing better adapted for creating an interest in and a
demand for an institution such as a few years later was established in
Raleigh, the Agricultural and Mechanical College, could have been
devised. His power in this way was called genius.4 Likewise, his
speeches
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"Governor Jarvis said the greatest educator of the people was the church; it was
the forerunner of education, for through the Sunday schools it instils into the
children and parents alike the desire for intelligence . . . that as soon as the four
leading denominations of the state shall demand, through their pulpits that
appropriations be made by the legislative power of the state, they will be made, for
no party could resist the demand of such a powerful agency for education."
3
Biblical Recorder, October 6, 1880; October 22, 1879.
4 Biblical Recorder, June 11, 1881; report of speech in Oxford: "On Wednesday
evening of this week Dr. Pritchard delivered the annual address before the Franklin
Society of the far-famed Horner School. Before the audience com
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