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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

1847NY 27.pdf

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28

and physical, as well as moral, and conduce therefore to the growth of the mind. An agricultural pursuit is peculiarly adapted to, and promotive of, scientific pursuits. It may very naturally lead to the study of the structure and composition of the various earths, rocks and minerals, of which the earth is composed, and of the vegetables which she produces. The Agriculturist may then become the better geologist, mineralogist and botanist, because aided in the study of these sciences by the very employment he follows, and that too, without interfering scarcely at all with that employment. It must, then, produce mental culture. And the very nature of the employment calls into exercise the muscles and the physical powers of the body, and must conduce to physical culture and to health.

But an Agricultural life is open to all, and the things that obstruct other modes of life do not obstruct this. And if it be the road to competency, to independence and to easy circumstances, and if, in addition thereto, it is conducive to moral, mental, and physical culture, then ought it to be resorted to by our own people. For from all, or nearly all, the other pursuits in life, which lead to easy circumstances, we are deprived, or have not the means to embark therein, to compete with those long skilled in these pursuits and having capital adapted thereto. But we live in a country yet comparatively in its infancy, and most of which is an unbroken wilderness, with a temperate climate, and where land is both cheap and productive. And there is no barrier to the purchase of the soil by our people in any part of the country where it is desirable to seek a home. And if we may not, from the peculiar circumstances in our case, be men of other pursuits, we may become, if we will, Agriculturalists, and be independent and happy. Besides, the farmer's life is adapted to our pecuniary circumstances and condition. To commence a business, in the business part of the country, which would yield, in ordinary cases, a competency, would require a capital much larger than the most of us possess. But a few dollars, comparatively, will purchase a farm sufficiently large to afford a comfortable subsistence, at the outset; will provide the necessary implements of husbandry, and at the same time be the most productive investment that can be made of small sums of money. For every stroke of the ax, every furrow of the plow, and every rod that is cultivated, while it meets the current wants, will be adding improvements and increasing the value of the farm. He may not have money as men in other pursuits have, he does not need it as they do' they are dependent upon their money for the necessaries of life, he has them without money and without price. But though he has not the money they have, the very means by which he lives

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