438 History of Wake Forest College
from these academies to schools of medicine; others went to the
schools of law; others taught in the common schools; all who finished
the course at the better grade academies were regarded as well
educated, as in fact, many of them were. They had enough Latin to
read Caesar and Virgil; they were well trained in arithmetic, algebra
and geometry and in surveying; they could spell, and could read
selections from many of the masterpieces of English and American
literature; they knew Bullion's English Grammar and could analyze
and parse the most involved sentence in Milton's Paradise Lost. They
knew the geography of the world, and the essentials of Greek and
Roman and English history and had learned much of the history of the
United States. Some of them had had brief courses in general science,
physics, astronomy. In after years one here and there had a well
selected library of the world's best books.
Graduation from these academies was almost unknown; a student
remained one, two, three, or four years, or perhaps longer. His teacher
was ready to teach him all the subjects he had taken in College, even
calculus and Tacitus and Persius.7 Usually, when the student had left
the academy, he had finished his education, and did not go to college,
but went to work. Again, on the other hand, of those who went to
college many could have remained in the academies longer with
profit; they were attracted to the colleges because expenses in them
were almost as low as in the academies and they desired the wider
acquaintance with young men from all sections of the State and the
reputation which a year or two in college would give them. As we
have seen, this class of
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system. When we remember that a majority of our public school teachers have had
no training other than that afforded by the academy, we must admit the vital relation
of the academy to the public schools. One hundred inquiries were recently mailed to
teachers in every county in this State asking where preparation was obtained for the
work of teaching; seventy-six replies were received, and of these six had received
college training, while fifty-eight had been students in academies and high schools."
Dr. Whitsett stated further that recognizing that many of the students of his school
would become teachers he was offering courses in normal instruction, which were
largely attended.
7
A student coming from one of these schools, W. S. Long's High School at
Graham, took the degree of Master of Arts at Wake Forest College in three years.
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