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erations that are very important for young men of limited means that wish to get farms. The first is, that in taking any course that will be open to them, they may not be able to make money as fast at the beginning as may be deemed desirable. It is very natural for young men to make large calculations at the start. They have a very laudable ambition to go ahead and make something, and be somebody; hence they are apt to think that any course they may be able to take is too slow to ever accomplish any thing. But this is a mistaken idea. Let any one that doubts this sit down and reckon up what a man that earns $100 over a living every year from the time he is 21 until he is 50, and puts it at interest at 7 per cent., adding the interest to the principal each year, will have when he is 50 years old—or say in 30 years. I say, let him do this and he will be surprised to learn that he may be a comparatively rich man, by taking this course, when he is 50 years of age. As a further illustration of this fact, I will mention a few instances that have come under my own observation, one of a man that died worth over $10,000 in cash, that made it, all but a small legacy, by working out and the interest on his money. Another, that is now some 35 or 36 years old, that has between $3,000 and $4,000, all made by working out, and the accruing interest on his wages. And yet another that saved $900 in six years. All this shows most conclusively that, though either of the courses I have pointed out may seem rather a slow way on the start, yet, if persevered in, and all of the money, as fast as realized, invested in some manner whereby the interest is sure to be realized, they are sure to lead to the desired success,—while hundreds, perhaps thousands, have done a great deal better than this by investing their labor and money in farning in such a manner as to realize much larger profits.
“ The other consideration, with which I shall conclude, is that every young man that wishes to succeed should make himself familiar with the agricultural literature of the day. He should not only read and keep for future reference some of the best agricultural journals of the day (of which I wish to say that the Country Gentleman stands at the head), but he should be familiar with some of the best practical works on farming in the country. He will find this a great advantage, if he works out, in enabling him not only to work to much greater profit and advantage to his employer, and thus getting the extra wages that will be his due for highly intelligent labor, but in showing him how the knowledge gained by his present experience may be turned to his future benefit when farming for himself. Or, if taking or renting a farm, in learning how to manage it to the best advantage, both as regards present and future profits. Or, if farming on a small place, not only in learning what may be and has been done on a little farm like his own, in different sections of the country, but in learning how he may manage his few acres to the best possible advantage. But above all else, he will find it of the greatest advantage in enkindling in his mind an ardor for, and an enthusiasm in the business of farming, that, enabling him to triumph over every obstacle, will be sure, sooner or later, to bring him to the desired haven of success.
These original suggestions drew forth a second reply in the same paper, under the signature of "R. S. F.," as follows:
"A correspondent inquires, How he can get a farm without money or capital to buy it with or to conduct the business of farming? I can answer his question in two words. Take mine ; with this proviso, however, that he understands practically and thoroughly the profitable management of a farm, and has a character in all respects equal to his practice and his knowledge. He is looking for a farm; I am looking for a farmer who can take hold of the soil in a way to improve it and his own condition at the same time. My farm lies vacant and unimproved, because no one appears that can satisfy me of his capacity to do this. I can find plenty of men who would be glad to buy the farm upon a credit, but who would never pay for it, and who would tease, depreciate, and worry it to no purpose. I can find others who are ready to rent it for a stipulated sum, or upon shares; but no one has ever appeared that possessed sufficient qualifications to manage the business, to keep the farm improving, and to do this. If he prospered, it would be tolerably certain that his success was at the expense and not by aid of the land.
“ This farm is accessible to good markets, and contains six hundred acres of land of every variety, clay and light; plenty of meadow, salt and fresh; abundantly supplied with wood; with never-failing sources of water, and surrounded with schools, churches, etc. Now I am willing to sell this farm upon a reasonable credit; or, I am willing to let it to a responsible, improving tenant, at a low price, whenever I can find a man of the right sort to take it, with a condition attached to the lease, that the tenant shall have the right to purchase it at an agreed price within a given period.
“ A tenant usually grows rich on a farm, for the reason that he usually goes upon it with a view of laying up enough money to pay for a farm of his own elsewhere. He carries from the hired farm in his breeches pocket all the scrapeable value he can; it has been made poor to make him richin other words, he has transferred the fertility of the one to the fields of the other by a sort of electrotyping process, whose transmutation in soils, are in such hands as sure as they are by the labors of chemistry in metals.
“Now, Messrs. Editors, when you have followed me thus far, should I stop, you would editorially ask, Why not advertise your wants in the Country Gentleman ? I answer, because if I did, I should have no end of applications from this very class of people that I wish to save my land from. I am diligently seeking for an experienced, money-making, landimproving farmer; but, in the mean time, my house, now old and shabby, is rotting away, and my barns will soon follow in one general decaying, destructive sweep. Shall we ever have schools of agriculture, from whose portals, as they graduate, one can find a competent agent, tenant, or the purchaser of a farm, who has learned the art of making it pay for itself?”
More Opinions and ExperiencesSome Objections Additional
Light-Encouraging the Young-A personal History-Getting an Illinois Farm-One Example-Good Suggestions—Buying and going in Debt-Value of the Discussion.
The discussion thus opened drew out, as may be supposed, the views of other practical men to elucidate the important question as to the best way of getting a farm. The following is the commentary of another intelligent observer, Mr. J. W. Colburn, of Springfield, Vermont. Referring to the suggestions made by “F.,” as quoted in the preceding chapter, he says:
“ His advice cannot but be regarded, by those to whom it was intended to benefit, as very sensible, and in the main correct. He points out three ways to be pursued to accomplish the object sought for, viz. : Working out for wages, taking farms upon shares, and beginning with a few acres at first, enlarging as means are saved to invest, seeming rather to give the preference to this last method over the two first. Circumstances, with regard to land and labor, may be such in his locality as to make his views correct; but with all due deference to his opinion, to suit the locality in which I reside, I should ask him to reverse his opinion, and put the working out for wages to get a start in life at the head of his three ways to get a farm, as decidedly preferable to either of the other two.
“If the first thing that a young man thinks of and must