The Growing College 275
entire department under Professor Sledd's charge for the year 1893-
94.15
Professor Sledd had come to the College in September, 1888, as
Professor of Modern Languages; he was specially proficient in both
French and German, and of his work in these languages something
will be said below. However, since his chief work at Wake Forest was
as head of the English department some account of his preparation for
that work may be given here. Born on August 24, 1864, on a large
ante-bellum estate in Bedford County, Virginia, he was subject to the
best of formative influences of the culture of the Old South. In 1881,
he entered the Washington and Lee University, from which five years
later he was graduated with the degree of Master of Arts, especially
distinguished for his scholarship and attainments in foreign languages,
ancient and modern, and in English. During the year, 1886-87, he was
a student in English at the Johns Hopkins University, in which he
worked with such zeal as to overtax his eyes, which became so badly
impaired that he was compelled to leave off formal studies in the
University. During the year 1887-88 he was head master of Charlotte
Hall, a school in southern Maryland, from which he was called to
Wake Forest, in August, 1888, as professor of Modern Languages. In
the first years he showed a comprehensive knowledge of literature
and an interest in literary studies that attracted much attention among
the members of the faculty and the students. After he had taught some
of the classes in English in the spring of 1893 the students called for
him as professor of that department. The faculty put all the English
classes under his charge at this time, and in June, 1894, he was
formally elected to the chair. On taking charge Professor Sledd
enlarged the school to provide for three years' consecutive work. The
statement in the catalogue reads:
The work of this department is directed toward a threefold end: a direct first-hand
acquaintance with the English literature, a general knowledge of the history of the
English language and the English people, and some degree of excellence in
composition. . . . In each
―――――――
15
Minutes of the Faculty, September 8,
1893.
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