The First Fight Against Appropriations 201
"We had a right to do this as citizens and taxpayers; we had a right
to do it as the friends of the denominational colleges, whose interests
were imperiled; we had a right to do it as representatives of Christian
churches, if we saw fit to do so; and yet for the exercise of this right,
given by the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights
of North Carolina; nay more granted us by the very charter of our
creation, we are charged by the Raleigh News and Observer with the
high crime of an effort to unite church and state and a deliberate
attempt to control legislation by a combination of sectarian
denominations.9
"The sun shines too high in the heavens for any one to be scared by
that ghost!
"It is not a little amusing, however, to hear the Episcopal editor of
the News and Observer charging the Methodists, Presbyterians and
Baptists, especially the Baptists, with an attempt to unite church and
state, and with violating the principles of civil and religious liberty.
"We wish our position to be distinctly understood. We do not
oppose the appropriation already made to Chapel Hill, with one free,
indigent student from each county, because the colleges we represent
have received serious loss in money and patronage by the free tuition
offered at the State college.
"But we did oppose the increased appropriation, with the 188 free
scholarships, because we were satisfied that our colleges would be
most seriously injured thereby. A like policy in Virginia has damaged
the cause of higher education, reducing the attendance on all the
colleges of the State, except the University and the State Agricultural
College, from one-third to one-half. It has rendered the University
very unpopular and made the friends of the colleges feel that a great
wrong has been inflicted upon them by the State.
"It is most painful to us to be obliged to take a position of apparent
hostility to the State college. Our motives have been misunderstood
and bad feeling, even indignation, excited against us
―――――――
9
The Editor of the News and Observer had made retraction before Pritchard's
article appeared. Biblical Recorder, March 23, 1881.
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