508 History of Wake Forest College
in matters educational he took the liveliest interest and was to be
found with his shoulder to the wheel.
"His talent he used to good purpose in the Sunday school and in
other spheres of Christian work."
MRS. ANN ELIZA BREWER
(Digested from article by Dr. W. B. Royall in Wake Forest Student,
XIX, 465ff., April, 1900.)
Ann Eliza Brewer was born February 1, 1826.
She was the only daughter of the first president of the College, Dr.
Samuel Wait, and was the sharer with her honored parents in those
hard experiences through which the College struggled.
In her antecedents on either side were elements of moral nobility
and strength from which might have been augured the development of
those charming traits that entered into her character and life.
Her father was the grandson of Wm. Wait, who, during the period
of the Revolution and for years afterwards, was a Baptist minister in
the State of New York. Her mother was Sarah Merriam, daughter of
Jonathan Merriam, and first cousin of the eminent Oriental scholar,
Dr. T. J. Conant.
On December 27, 1826, her father. with Dr. Wm. Staughton, left
Washington, D. C., on a visit to the South, to obtain subscriptions for
the relief of Columbian College. They reached New Bern, February 9,
1827. A few miles from this town, now on their way to South
Carolina, they had their vehicle so injured by the running away of
their horse that it was necessary to return and spend some time in
New Bern, which led to the call of Dr. Wait to the pastorate of the
New Bern Baptist Church. Thus by seeming accident the lot of Dr.
Wait and his descendants was cast in the Old North State. It was in
November, 1827, that the father, mother, and daughter, now nearly
two years old, became domiciled within our borders.
In 1830 Dr. Wait was appointed General Agent of the Baptist State
Convention, which had just been organized in Greenville. Some idea
of the child's relation to this eventful period in the family life may be
learned from the following penned by her own hand:
"Perhaps a description of the vehicle in which Dr. Wait and family
traveled may not be uninteresting. Imagine a covered Jersey wagon of
pretty good size. A seat across the middle accommodated father and
mother, while in front, at the mother's feet, was ample room for a little
chair in which sat their little daughter, about four years old when this
work commenced. . . . The conveyance was the home of the little
family―all the home they had―for two or three years, as they zig-