Eclipse of University of North Carolina 63
greatly depressed. There are not half the usual number attending schools of any
kind; and as for colleges, they have not one-fourth of their original numbers.
But this is not all. Is it doing justice to our section? There are circumstances
arising from our present and past condition which are sufficient to depress and
unsettle our former relations of equality and healthful rivalry with other sections. . .
. We on the other hand, partly from the peculiarity of our political condition, partly
from want of means and a proper appreciation of our real needs, we are closing the
doors of our Universities, withholding patronage from our schools, and warping the
intellect of our rising youth. And then we enter the course. Shall we be able to reach
the goal? Alas, our depression has produced great apathy; and in too many cases
feeling that the difficulties are too appalling to be met, we have yielded to
despair.3
The fact is that this time the depression had been on for some
months, and it was necessary for the friends of the College to do a
great deal of whistling to keep their courage up. Of this nature is the
reply to a statement appearing in the Religious Herald in June, 1868,
that Wake Forest College was in a perilous condition, to which the
editor of the Biblical Recorder angrily answered that the Trustees at
their recent meeting found all matters connected with the College
most satisfactory and that its condition was
prosperous.4
Wingate, however, discouraged by the falling off in the enrollment
was speaking the almost despairing words quoted above. Sometimes
too, according to Professor Mills, he had to listen to the wails of a
desponding member of the faculty or a Trustee, and soon the infection
of their discouragement had spread throughout the State, so that
wherever Wingate went he was met with
―――――――
3
Biblical Recorder, August 12, 1868.
4 Biblical Recorder, June 17, 1868: "The Trustees of Wake Forest College at their
recent session, after a careful survey made of the premises, felt at liberty to
congratulate the denomination on the present condition of the College. The
buildings and the campus are in a better condition than we ever saw them. The halls,
libraries, apparatus, etc., are the admiration of every beholder. The moral and
literary attainments of the students are very satisfactory. The income from the
endowment and the success of the agent
have exceeded the general
expectation.
Wake Forest College is in a prosperous condition."
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