304 History of Wake Forest College
in the welfare of the public schools, a pretense to shield their hostility
to the University. Already in this work many instances of support of
the public schools have been given.8 And yet the misrepresentations,
cruelly unjust, of Dr. Taylor and other Baptist leaders in this fight,
were made in the days when it was in progress and have continued
until this
Since the great contribution that the College and its friends have
made to the advancement of interest in public school education in
North Carolina has been so grossly misrepresented and disregarded
either designedly or ignorantly while all the credit for developing that
interest is given to those who were connected in some way with our
State educational institutions, it is thought well to place here on
permanent record these further facts.
From the days of Reconstruction until long after the close of
8 Volume I, 372; Vol. II, Chap. VII.
An early instance of such criticism is this: The Baptist State Convention,
meeting in Greensboro in 1895, adopted a report of a committee previously
appointed memorializing the Legislature to use its revenues for the support of the
common schools rather than of higher education. In a short editorial note the
Philadelphia Record strongly commended the action of the Convention, saying:
"Expenditures of State funds for the finishing schools while the primary schools are
unprovided for is a piece of folly." Whereupon the editor of the Charlotte Observer,
who in 1894, when the Baptist State Convention was meeting in Charlotte, had
made such offensive references to Baptists that the Convention sent a committee to
make protest, out of patience that so respectable a journal should have commended
the Baptists of North Carolina in this matter, said: "Well, it does look rather
patriotic on the face of the returns, but our esteemed contemporary is probably not
aware that the North Carolina Baptist `Association' (Convention) was more zealous
for the success of its Baptist college than for the betterment of the public school
system of the State." A second instance is much more recent and is found in Hon.
Josephus Daniels' last book, Editor in Politics, page 233, and reads: "In order to
sugar-coat their hostility to the University, Dr. Kilgo, Bailey and others began,
belatedly to champion publicly more money for public schools, though they never
did anything effective for public education." How much Mr. Daniels' partisanship
has blinded him to the facts in the case in regard to Bailey will be apparent to any
one who will take the pains to read the editorial columns of the Biblical Recorder
for the years when J. W. Bailey was editor, or my article, "The Truth as to the
Public School Advancement in North Carolina," Wake Forest Student, XLVII, 31-
61, November, 1929. It is not true to say that Mr. Bailey "never did anything
effective for public education." Mr. Daniels in his discussion of Dr. Columbus
Durham disregards the fact that in his wonderful campaign Dr. Durham most
powerfully presented the claims of the public schools
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