It was during the second year of Pritchard's administration that the
first of the serious controversies arose over appropriations by the
State to the University of North Carolina. At the Baptist State
Convention which met at Goldsboro in November, 1880, Rev.
Columbus Durham introduced a resolution calling for the
appointment of a committee to "report on the interests of the State
University." He declared that there were too many Episcopalians on
the board of trustees of that body. The resolution aroused. a
considerable debate but it was finally indefinitely
Bailey of the Biblical Recorder in his paper of December 1 said that
the constitution of the board of trustees of the State University was no
concern of the Baptists of the State, but, as will be told below, this
became one of the chief points of the contention. A second was that
the University should be a university in fact, not a college in
competition with the denominational colleges of the State. Still
another was that the first educational concern of the State should be
common school education and not that to be obtained at the
University. Something will be said of each of these three contentions
so far as they developed at this time.
The first grievance of the Baptists and probably also of some of the
other communions was that at this time the State University was in
reality a denominational college, being conducted so as to favor the
Episcopal Church rather than any other. A strong statement of this
view was made in the Biblical Recorder of January 12, 1881, by Rev.
Columbus Durham, then pastor of the Baptist Church at Durham.
Since it so well represents what for
Minutes of the Baptist State Convention for 1880. Those taking part in the
discussion were A. D. Cohen, C. Durham, C. T. Bailey, J. C. Scarborough, H. A.
Reams, F. H. Ivey, A. C. Dixon, T. E. Skinner, and T. Whitfield.
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