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Colored Convention of the Texas Farmers Association


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Boston, Mass., September 15, 1879.—Editor of the Co-operative Emigrant, Clarksville, Tenn.—Dear Sir: Allow me to make a few suggestions through your columns for the benefit of whoever it may concern. We have been frequently asked why the national farmers association purchased lands for the freedmen in northern Texas. This is a fair question, and as such, is entitled to a truthful answer, which we will now give.

1. In the Principia Papers we have advised the freedmen to "emigrate somewhere," "get out of rebeldom," etc..etc. One of our Boston dailies, after giving an unobjectionable notice of one of said papers, rather sarcastically suggests that Texas is a part of rebeldom and yet the same association has purchased large tracts of land there for the freedmen. Yes, we own up and acknowledge the corn. This is all true, but it is also true that our good-natured friend has not got us in so tight a place as he may think he has, for


2. Texas, though called the valley of rascals when knocking at the door of the union for admittance into the family of states, has made wonderful progress in civilization, and although it has belonged to rebeldom, it has now become nearly, if not quite, republican. We are informed by parties who are well posted on the subject, that already northern Texas, by which we mean all north of the line of the Texas and Pacific railroad, is largely republican, and when the present national administration came into power, it only needed about 50,000 more republican votes to place this vast empire state in the republican column. As emigration has been pouring in there for the last three years, it is safe to say that Texas no longer belongs to rebldom, and therefore we are not counseling our colonies to go from one part of rebeldom to another, and what emigration has not done in that direction the last extra session of congress has; but,

3. If our colonies who now reside in the cotton belt prefer to go into states further north and a colder climate, they can go, but we do not encourage it, because we know it is not for their interest to do so, and therefore we have secured for them the very best lands in the cotton belt. If the question should be asked in another form, why we made our selection of lands on the Dallas and Wichita railroad, we answer:


4. It is because the Dallas and Wichita railroad has offered us better terms than any other road with which we have been in correspondence. We sell these lands at the original state price of $150 per acre, and look to the railroad for our compensation. By this arrangement each purchaser of a farm who makes his first payment and gets his bond or deed is entitled to all the appreciation on his land from the price he pays upward, whereas in the older states further north and colder he would have to pay a much higher price for his land, the appreciation of which goes into the pockets of speculators and not into his own, as we propose. We have been trying for more than forty years to make better men of the planters, and at the same time improve the condition of their laborers. The planters have not taken our advice, but their laborers have, and their condition is growing better, that's all. We have never been into a southern state to entice laborers away from their old homes, but we have offered them better terms and better facilities for acquiring homes of their own and reaping the fruits of their own toil. If the planters can offer them still better terms and better homes, we have not the slightest objection. Yours, respectfully,


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