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Minutes of the National Convention of Colored Citizens; Held at Buffalo; on the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th of August, 1843; for the purpose of considering their moral and political condition as American citizens.
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contributing to this purpose, are but means to that end, of which the soil is the real source of supply. Money, ships, houses, merchandise the professions, the mechanic arts, all these, however much to be appreciate in their proper use, are valueless, unless mother earth shall have first opened her hands, and supplied us of her bounty; they cannot meet the demands of our nature, and with all the pearls of the ocean in possession, and the real wants of our nature unsupplied, would that be wealth?
Your committee insist upon it, that the man who owns his farm unencumbered, with the necessary accompaniments, with no other possessions, is independent and wealthy; and how can he be otherwise? for with a congenial sun, and the congenial showers, and both of which he is sure to have, they are unavoidable, and come of a natural necessity; with these the earth will, as she ever has done, yield her increase, food for man, and food for beast. In the language of another we would say, "If we take good care of old mother earth (cultivate her,) she will take good care of us." Besides, the products for food, from the same natural causes,will come the necessary products for clothing; hemp and flax; wool will grow upon the sheep's back, and the worm will spin our silk, and the wheel, the distaff and the loom will convert them into the convenient state for the back, and this the farmers can do in and among themselves; as to the luxuries of life, the beet and the maple tree, will, where the cane cannot be cultivated, furnish one of the most needful. Is not such a man independent? who ill more so ? nay more, who as much so? for who can live without the things which he grows? and where shall he who does not produce them, and must have them, go for supply, but to the farmer—he is the farmer's dependent, how much gold soever he may have, or however many ships, or houses, or other things he may possess, these are nothing to him, unless he be supplied with what the agriculturist has, without money, and as it were without price.
Besides being independent, he is also wealthy. His farm may have cost him in its present state of cultivation, not to exceed three hundred dollars—that sum in money or in merchandise, commercial, or in most mechanical business, would be a capital insufficient from which to hope, even, for an ordinary living—in most cases, in most of the business operations, with a capital so small, despair would attend at every step; such a sum is but a fractional part of the value of the wardrobe of persons in some circumstances in life, yet in the more preferable countries for agriculture, it will buy a farm quite large enough, build an house, furnish the necessary implements, and make other improvements sufficient to produce a happy living. And if he is not wealthy at the commencement; as wealth may be estimated in the older countries, or the popular cities, or even in the neighborhood where he lives, he is so prospectively according to their standard, and having enough, he is so really. Still further, his farm produces, or yields him all that is necessary to live upon; he need not go in debt; at the same time, his farm is improving, and his land increasing in value, and every new crop he reaps, or new acre he cultivates, his wealth is increasing, and a few years finds him prepared to add farm to farm, and to give presently to one son a farm here, and to another a farm yonder, and himself living as he always has done, independently all the time.
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