238 History of Wake Forest College
That one postmarked "New York, Jan. 17-3:30 P.M.," reads as follows: "I would
much prefer to have a written statement of such matters than to undertake to
consider them through personal interview. Yours truly, J. A. Bostwick." Thus the
first contact was made by an agent of the College with the man to whose bene-
factions the College owes the major part of its
endowment.
Having received this promising message Professor Taylor retired to
his hotel room and fell on his knees and thanked God, and asked His
guidance in the preparation of the statement for Mr. Bostwick. The
first he made was too long; the second was shorter but still too long;
the third was on one side of a sheet of letter paper, and contained just
the information he thought a practical business man who was desirous
of serving God with his money would like to know. This he sent, and
waited. Afterwards Mr. Bostwick seemingly called him into
conference, but of that no details are preserved. What is known is that
Professor Taylor left New York assured in his own mind that Mr.
Bostwick would give ten thousand dollars to the
endowment.10
Early in February Profesor Taylor was back in Wake Forest, talking
interestingly of his trip, and of the snow which fell in New York
every day but one during this stay.11 Although confident, and as it
proved with good reason, that Mr. Bostwick would pay in the ten
thousand dollars, for the treasurer of the College had in hand on July
7, 1883, not the cash, but "a certificate of One Hundred Shares Stock
of Standard Oil Trust No. A 305,"12 Professor Taylor set about
making his plans anew. He had got 810,000 in New York; he had
hoped to get $20,000; he had received only Mr. Bostwick's gift; his
plan called for $10,000 more from the metropolis. This, however, he
never received, although he made during the year several other visits
―――――――
10 The postal card returned by Mr. Bostwick and those returned by the others, a
copy of the Examiner article, some notes probably containing the information given
Mr. Bostwick, numerous copies of the letter heads, notebooks and other documents
and manuscripts relating to this canvass for endowment are in College Library.
11 Wake Forest Student, February, 1883.
12
The Board of Trustees at their meeting at Edenton, November 15, 1883, passed
a resolution thanking Mr. Bostwick for his gift.
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