The College and Reconstruction 47
and afterwards under J. T. Howell. Either under associational
direction or private control schools were also kept in the buildings of
the former associational academies at Mars Hill, Catawba and
Taylorsville. There was also a good academy under Baptist auspices
at Abbott's Creek. The famous Horner School of Oxford and the
Bingham School of Mebane were already in operation, and in most of
the towns were one or more academies. Nearly all of these offered all
branches of study from the alphabet to Virgil's Aeneid. Very few of
the students, however, advanced further than what would be classed
as grammar school studies, and never contemplated going to college.
The result was that college students were few, not numbering more
than 500 in all the colleges of the State for any year between 1865 and
Another influence that was powerful in destroying interest in
college education, especially in eastern North Carolina from which
Wake Forest for a dozen years after the War continued to draw two-
thirds of her students, was the slow progress of political recon-
struction which powerfully depressed the spirits of the people. How
this affected Wake Forest College is well indicated in the following
statement of Professor L. R.
In 1868 many of our best citizens were not allowed to vote, while every negro
man who would swear that he was twenty-one years old was allowed to do so. The
great majority of the members of the Legislature elected were carpet-baggers and
scalawags, and with few exceptions the laws enacted during the session of 1869
were unwise, ill-timed, extravagant and corrupt. All these things tended to bring
about a condition of things but little, if any, better than actual war. The effect of
such a condition of affairs upon all the schools of the State was fearful. Our people
were discouraged and many of them at their row's 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 the apparently hopeless effort to do anything.
This disturbed condition of affairs, with the minds of the people
4 Bulletin of Wake Forest College, II,
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