Pritchard's Contribution to General Education 189
before associations were not on Missions, but on education, general
education. The editorial report of his speech at the Flat River
Association, August 18, 1880, says: "Dr. Pritchard made the brethren
a long and able speech on Wednesday and greatly interested some of
the very best farmers in the State. We should like to know what some
of the brethren close to Enon think of Dr. Pritchard's knowledge of
corn, wheat, and tobacco."
How on every occasion Dr. Pritchard discussed his favorite topic
may be seen from the following quoted in the Biblical Recorder of
May 28, 1880, from the North Carolina Presbyterian:
The lecture of Dr. T. H. Pritchard before the Wilmington Library Association and
the citizens of Wilmington on the night of Wednesday of last week was clear,
convincing and practical and in the highest degree entertaining. The subject, "What
is the One Thing Necessary for the Development of North Carolina," was answered-
not by statement only, but by proof as well-Education, thorough, complete and
universal, as applied not only to the professions styled learned, but for the energetic
and profitable prosecution of agricultural and mechanic pursuits. We wish every
citizen of North Carolina could have heard it.
Numerous other reports of like character of Pritchard's speeches on
education are to be found in the Biblical Recorder and other state
periodicals of these three years. The whole story justifies the
statements: (1) Dr. Pritchard while president of Wake Forest College
did more than any other man of the period to create and foster interest
in common school education; (2) he likewise did more than any other
to create a demand for the establishment of an agricultural and
mechanical college in North Carolina, in which his friend and deacon
of the church he served in Raleigh, Col. L. L. Polk, had such a large
posed of school boys, school girls, teachers, preachers, lawyers, merchants, doctors,
and one solitary farmer, he discussed agriculture, hill-side ditches, hogs, mortgages,
and manufactures; and, strange to say, he delighted every one, even the school boy
and the school girl. Now if this is not genius, tell us what genius is."
Pritchard's services in creating interest in education of all kinds seem not to
have been known to Knight and Noble, authors of histories of public education in
North Carolina. They do not even mention it.
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