Wake Forest and the Academies, 1865-1905 437
in North Carolina in the half century after the Civil War should have
The small number of schools in the decade after the close of the
Civil War was due to several causes. One was the demoralization of
industry caused by the war. When peace came the young men, both
those who had been soldiers and those who were just coming to
manhood, felt called to go to work to salvage what they could of the
wreckage of the war. Their services were demanded on the farms and
in the mercantile establishments, and in other industries. They could
not be spared to the schools, except perhaps for short periods on
which to learn to read, write and keep accounts. Again, teachers were
few, since the War had interrupted the education of many who would
normally have become teachers. But the chief cause of the poor state
of the academies was the poverty of our people. Only a few were able
to send a son or a daughter to a boarding school, even though the rates
were low and in some schools board might be paid in produce at fixed
prices and room rent by wood at fifty cents a
Very few of the high school students before 1880 had any intention
of going to college. They were getting an education to fit them for
their life work, farming or business, telegraphy, bookkeeping, railroad
station agents, county offices, teachers in Sunday school and general
religious work in their communities. Not a few of them expected to
become teachers for part of the year in the four-months public schools
which was the highest offered in the rural communities of North
Carolina in more than a half century after the Civil
students went direct
5 From the advertisement of the Warsaw High School, Isham Royall, Principal, in
the Biblical Recorder of July 19, 1866: "Tuition in currency, $10, $15, $20....
Board, including washing, at $10 per month. Payable in provisions at the old
prices." From advertisement of Orange Grove Academy, 1867, H. M. Cates,
Principal: "Special favors granted to disabled North Carolina soldiers, when
6 There has been very little recognition of the service done by the academies in
training these teachers, male and female. A good but not extravagant statement of
this service is found in an article by W. T. Whitsett, Ph.D., President of Whitsett
Institute, published in Mebane: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
of North Carolina, 1897-98, p. 403f. in which he says: "Let us consider then the
special relation of the academy to our public school
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