296 History of Wake Forest College
time of crisis; if the College was to be saved a fight must be made for
it and made at
The alarm felt by the Trustees and faculty of Wake Forest College
soon spread among the friends and supporters of the Christian
colleges throughout the State. The Baptist State Convention and the
Western North Carolina Methodist Conference both meeting in
December, 1893, appointed committees to memoralize the
Legislature, being convinced that their colleges were being crippled
by the friction and competition of the State University.
It was in this situation that President Taylor produced and
published, first, in the Biblical Recorder of April and May, 1894, and
later in a pamphlet of forty-eight pages, his treatise, "How Far Should
a State Undertake to Educate?" of which 25,000 copies were
distributed. As the arguments advanced in this series of papers were
the subject of widespread and passionate discussion throughout the
State for more than a year and not without important influence on the
future progress of the College, some indication of their general scope
and character follows.
This is First, however, it should be said that the production was Dr.
Taylor's own; the thoughts were not borrowed or imposed upon him.5
made clear by Dr. Taylor himself in the last section
From President Taylor's report to Board of Trustees, June 1894. "We are
probably at a turning point in the history of the College. Before many years have
passed, it will probably be decided whether it is to have the opportunity to expand
naturally into a great institution, or whether it is destined to become a small
institution, whose work will be largely confined to the education of the ministry."
5 Hon. Josephus Daniels, Editor in Politics, 103, says: "Dr. Charles E. Taylor,
President of Wake Forest College, one of the best scholars and one of the gentlest
men that ever lived, had, under the influnce of Dr. Durham, written a pamphlet
against ‘State Aid,' as it was called, for higher institutions of learning. It was
temperate and able and by all odds the best argument issued during the period when
the contest was bitterly fought in the State.... After writing this pamphlet, Dr. Taylor
had very little to say. He was so sweet a spirit that he could not join in the kind of
campaign which Dr. Durham and Dr. Kilgo waged.... He made his argument, an
argument which his church leaders felt he ought to make, and then he stood aside
while the more vigorous men who loved a fight went to the front." While Mr.
Daniels is right in his