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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People and Their Friends; held in Troy, NY; on the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of October, 1847
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is sure to come. The liabilities also, to a failure, in this pursuit, are less than in others. The pursuit of Agriculture, then, is the surest road for man to place himself in easy circumstances, or beyond want.
The farmer is an independent man; the man of no other pursuit is so much so. He may do without what men of trade and traffic have to dispose of, and upon the disposal of which, depends their very living; but they cannot do without what he produces. To him they must come for the very things upon which human existence, under God, is absolutely dependent. Without him, they have neither house, home, food, nor clothing. They must have the bread he produces, the cotton, the flax, and the wool he grows. They must have the timber from his forest the claw from his bed for brick, the sugar from his grove, his beet, or his cane. They must have the silk from the worm he nurses, and the covering for the feet even, from the back of the herds and the flocks he raises. Yea, the very articles in which they trade and traffic, are the fruit of the farmer's toil. If he toil not, then they trade and traffic not. The great staples of the commerce of the world, are either directly or indirectly the products of the farm. Let the farmer cease his toil, or toil only to supply his own wants; let him produce for himself alone, and not for others, and our merchants must close their shops; our ships must lie moored at their respective docks; our manufactories must cease the hum of the spindle, and the loom, and the millions of operatives must scatter themselves whither they will. Our cities, too, must become desolate, and the capital of the world of nothing worth. The converse of this, it is true, is the state of the civilized world; but it is because the agriculturalist toils on, producing what he can, and the earth yields sufficiently, through his skill, for him who toils, and for him who toils not. The surplus beyond the wants of the producer is converted into articles of trade, and the merchant buys, sells, ships and gets gain, and commerce and trade flourish.
An agricultural life is productive of moral, mental and physical culture. The farmer levels the forest, shatters and cleaves the rock in sunder, and tills the soil, which God's own hands hang made; and when he climbs the mountain, even to the clouds, or enters the forest, or surveys the plain; when his eye glances upon the waving grass and grain, upon the thrifty corn, he see the order, the variety, the beauty, and the wonders of nature, and must be led to look from nature up to nature's God, to love and admire the wisdom, the goodness, and the power of God, as thus displayed, and be made a better man.
But an agricultural life is evidently the employment designed by God for man; it must be adapted to his whole nature, mental
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