The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        Again the same writer says: "As the population between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers, was almost wholly Presbyterian, except the Germans, the act for incorporating Queen's College at Charlotte, was of course obtained through their influence, and the institution, if it had gone into operation, would have been sustained by them, though it was not chartered as a Presbyterian college, for they had not then felt themselves compelled, as they have done since, to take that ground.

        "In April 1777, the first year of American Independence, an act was passed by the Legislature of North Carolina, incorporating Isaac Alexander, President; Colonel Thomas Polk, Colonel Thomas Neal, Abraham Alexander, Waightstill Avery, Adlai Osborne, John McKnitt Alexander, Dr. Ephraim Brevard, Rev. David Caldwell, Rev. James Hall, Rev. James Edmonds, Rev. John Simpson, Rev. Thomas Reese, Rev. Thomas Harris McCaule, as Trustees of Liberty Hall Academy. These gentlemen had various powers, such as corporations of this nature usually possess. The first meeting of this respectable body was held in Charlotte, January 3, 1778."*

        * Life of Caldwell, pp. 194-95.

        So the change of name to Liberty Hall was certainly determined on before April, 1777, and in less than two years after the culmination of the meetings, that had been held within its walls, in the Declaration of Independence in the name of the "citizens of Mecklenburg county." The Revolutionary War closed its halls, and they were desecrated by Cornwallis' troops, who burned them, when his retreat upon Wilmington commenced.

        The same author (p. 140) speaks of the early educational advantages of North Carolina, as follows: (see on this subject, Wheeler's History of North Carolina, I. p. 116).

        "When the Orange Presbytery was organized the summer before the Regulation Battle, it consisted of seven ministers, and these all lived in North Carolina. They were all men of classical education, and most of them were graduates of Princeton College. There seems to have been, as already stated, a classical school in Charlotte; probably another in Granville or Orange; and Dr. Caldwell's school which had now been in operation about five years, since 1766, and had prepared several young men for college, some who became distinguished ministers of the gospel. (Foote says: "Five of his scholars became Governors, a number Judges, about fifty were ministers of the gospel, and a large number physicians and lawyers. The number of pupils averaged fifty or sixty.)

        There were several English schools within the limits of what is now Guilford county, and the people generally understood the value of education. The Rev. Mr. Beuthahn (pronounced nearly as if written Bittaun) who, as I am informed, organized the German Reformed Churches, in Guilford and Orange, taught a German school for several years, about this time, in the southeast corner of the former county; and the Lutherans had their preachers, who, being from Germany, were educated men. In a communication just received, from Bishop Vanvleck, of Salem, he mentions the Revs. Nussman and Arnt, who, having been sent out at an early period, "labored faithfully in poverty and privations, until, on their urgent application, the Revs. Charles A. Storh, Roschau, and Bernhard, were sent to to their assistance."

        The German Reformed Churches had several ministers, some of whom were devoted and useful men; and the Moravians were well supplied. There were several Baptist ministers in the Province, but of their character I know nothing. People in these circumstances could not be so grossly ignorant, as they have been represented, and the Quakers although they differ from most others in their views of the ministry, have always advocated and maintained a high degree of English education.

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