20 History of Wake Forest College
With the resumption of the exercises of the College a new schedule
of college fees was adopted, seemingly by the faculty, for the spring
term only of 1866. This was longer by four weeks than the usual half-
year term and the fees were correspondingly larger. All fees were
payable in currency, $1.50 in currency buying one dollar in gold. The
tuition in the preparatory department was fixed at $33; in the
collegiate department at $45 (gold $30). Room rent and servant's hire
in the College Building was fixed at $1 a month. It was estimated that
table board would cost $15 ($10 in gold) a month, and washing $1.50
a month.
With the beginning of the year 1866-67, the schedule of fees
became more regular; they continued to be estimated in currency
cember, 1866, I found that I had on hand a plenty of pork, flour, and corn for all
labor I would need for the coming year, corn and forage enough for my teams for at
least eighteen months, and twelve or fifteen thousand pounds of good tobacco in the
barns, and that I owed no man anything.'
"About the middle of December I received a letter from Dr. Wingate asking me
to go down to Wake Forest and teach Mathematics. I showed the letter to my
mother, and that night as I started to my room earlier than usual she asked me where
I was going. I said, "To my room to write to Dr. Wingate declining to go to Wake
Forest." To my surprise, she begged me to wait two or three days and give her time
to think the matter over. After considering it very carefully she suggested that I
should take my horse and ride over to Oxford and talk with brother John, who was
conducting Oxford Female College in St. John's College, the original building of the
Oxford Orphan's Asylum. My brother thought there was nothing in it for me, and
that it would be better for me to stay on the farm. As I had promised my mother to
do, I came to Wake Forest and spent one day looking around and talking the matter
over with the members of the faculty. . . . The College was really insolvent. We
discussed the situation till after midnight, and I told them frankly that I did not see
anything in it for me, but that I would go home and talk the matter over with my
mother and let them hear from me.
"When I went home and laid the matter before my mother fully, she said: My
son, bad as the outlook is, it will be better for you to go there than to spend your
days on the farm following negroes.' I knew what that advice had cost her I was the
youngest child, and she and my father had told me that in the end I would have to
come home and stay with them in their old age. During the four years I was at
College she never packed my trunk without a good hearty cry, and without winding
up by saying: My boy, you have got to come home and stay with your mother when
you are done going to College.'
"Early in January, 1867, I left home in Virginia with one hundred and fifty
dollars in my pockets, two trunks filled with a few homespun clothes, some bed
clothes, and a few old books, and a flour barrel packed with a feather bed, and came
to Wake Forest and entered into the `Wilderness'."
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