24 History of Wake Forest College
But the department was established and advertised in the papers. No
provision was made, however, to give a thorough business course, as
its most able advocates had hoped. The fact is the College did not
have the teaching force or the equipment for it. The department had
only one teacher, Professor Mills, who necessarily made it
subordinate to his regular college work. In the summer of 1869, he
went North and examined the work of the best business colleges, and
he fashioned a course of studies, including book-keeping and
commercial arithmetic "to prepare young men to make the
calculations required in business transactions, and to keep faithful and
systematic records of the same." No credit on requirements for
degrees was given for the work, and it was taken by very few
students, but notice of it continued in the catalogues of the College
until that of 1881.
Although progress was slow in developing a general interest in the
work of the College during these years, yet it was doubtless the
frequent plea that the College was an essential factor in the progress
of the Baptists in the State that did more than anything else to
encourage friends to hold on in their darkest days. "Of all
religionists," said T. H. Pritchard, "the Baptists are the least able to
allow other people to educate their children." It was with this plea that
Dr. William Royall revived interest in the College in the fall of 1868,
the period of the greatest gloom. Only 42 had registered at the
opening of the session and of these nearly all were former students.
Wingate himself, as is evident from his letter already
quoted,3
was
greatly discouraged, and some trustees and even some members of the
faculty were ready to abandon the work and sell the building and
grounds to the State.4
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general efficiency. It would seem to be our policy to make haste slowly, but surely,
to make men practical and efficient in the highest departments of life and send them
out to fill, not clerkships and telegraphic offices so much, but positions which
demand culture and scientific attainments. If we may extend our courses in those
directions we shall achieve solid and enduring results."
3 Biblical Recorder, February 22, 1868.
4
Our people were discouraged and many of them at their rows end. Some of the
wisest and most hopeful of the Trustees of the College discussed among themselves
the propriety of selling the entire property of the College to the State to be used as a
school for deaf, dumb and blind Negroes. Sometimes, too, the members of the
faculty would lose heart and talk about giving up
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