28 History of Wake Forest College
and this was true even of students who had come on invitation and not
of their own volition. Dr. Lynch, the pastor of the church, was a
regular Monday morning visitor, coming to get Poteat's criticism of
his Sunday morning sermon. To the members of the faculty the
President was uniformly respectful and showed no impatience when
one who, finding him polite, insisted on wasting the President's time
and his own until the bell called him to his classroom. The member of
the faculty who had a matter of some importance to discuss always
found him sympathetic, ready to hear and offer suggestions, so that
after a calm and unhasty consideration proper conclusions might be
During the period of his presidency Dr. Poteat had a large and
constantly increasing epistolary correspondence, to which he gave
careful attention. It concerned not only the proper business of the
College but also many other matters, biological, social, educational,
Biblical, religious, denominational, social, political, literary,
historical. Often those who wrote to him wanted information or
instruction or advice; now and then he was asked to state his doctrinal
views; for instance, "What books of the Bible do you think are
inspired?" by a zealous brother intent on trapping him into a heretical
statement, who revealed his fierce anger when he finally got the
answer that Poteat believed that all the books of the Bible were
inspired, and was left powerless for harm. In all his letters, both those
to his friends and those to the rare foe, he was unfailingly polite and
considerate. All were in good epistolary style, clear and succinct, and
always in faultless English. In the twenty-two years the
correspondence filled hundreds of files, and were a very magazine of
valuable historical material on many phases of North Carolina life of
the time, but all, together with much of the correspondence of Pres-
ident Taylor, were lost in the fire that destroyed the old College
Building, May 5, 1933.1
In the administration of President Taylor, November, 1898,
1 The secretaries of the President, beginning with Poteat's administration, have
been, E. B. Earnshaw, Mrs. E. B. Earnshaw, J. D. Carroll, G. F. Rittenhouse, G. S.
Patterson, Mrs. Frances Prichard since 1927.
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