Something of the nature of the work of Wingate in his travels and canvassing for
funds may be learned from the two following contemporary accounts of his visits to
the Associations of the western part of the State.
The first is from an editorial story by J. H. Mills, in the Biblical Recorder of
September 15, 1869. Somewhat abridged it is as follows: "On the 3rd instant, W. M.
Wingate, President of Wake Forest College, and B. W. Justice, A.M., President of
the Board of Trustees, westward took their way. The North Carolina Rail Road
carries passengers with comfort, security, and celerity, and the officers of the road
are careful and courteous.... The train is off for Morganton. Daylight shines in at
Statesville, and a good breakfast is on the table at Hickory Station.... At Morganton
peaches are plentiful, and barefoot women, boys and girls keep a peripatetic market
by going around with their peach baskets. One brave woman rides a large ox. She
sells her bag of beans and ties her cloven-footed steed till she can purchase supplies.
The ox breaks his bridle, and bolts up the Asheville road. His hawk-eyed, swift-
footed rider heads him at the tin shop and boldly lays hold upon his horn and holds
him as an infant in a giant's arms.
"The stage is ready, a large four-horse stage. Stage-riding is pleasant. Sometimes
you hunger and thirst; sometimes you are afflicted with dust or mud; sometimes
children squall and passengers scold, and make you declare that people should stay
at home till they learn to travel; sometimes you roll all night without sleep;
sometimes the wheels run in a few inches of a precipice; sometimes a stone (and
there are several stones on the sides of the Blue Ridge) knocks the stage out of the
track; sometimes the horses refuse to pull the load (there is so much downhill in
going up Blue Ridge, and so much uphill in coming down) and passengers must
walk. . . . But after all stageriding has its attractions, and Dr. Wingate and Secretary
Justice enjoy it finely. They gaze with rapture at Table Rock, Grandfather and other
mountains, and on the Sorek valleys, magnificent mansions, the fertile farms and
‘pleasant gardens.’ After a long time the top of the Blue Ridge is reached: the
headsprings of the Swannanoa collect into a little river which darts like an arrow
down a long gentle slope. Down the Swannanoa rolls the stage to the hospitable
home of Mr. Albertus Burgin, who warms the cold and feeds the hungry, and carries
them on their way to Berea (Salem Association, Buncombe
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