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A Big Gathering

A Big Gathering image A Big Gathering image
Parent Issue
Day
24
Month
August
Year
1888
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Last Saturday was the farmers' day and they thronged in great numbers to Whitmore Lake to enjoy the jtenth anima] picnic at that place. From early the wagons catne in laden with . baskets of aueh Rood things as thegood house-wives of Southern Michigan so well know how to prepare. Manv came long distances to meet old friends and niqiiaiiitaiK-es. The giounds wcre thronged Every place aviilable for horses and carriages was utilized and a line of horses extended far aiouudthe lake. It is hard to estimate tlie number of people present, as they were widely scattered, but the more conservative estimates place the number at 5,000. Livingston cöunty was better represented than formerly, but old Washtenaw held her own. The oinnipresent candidates were there essaying the role of close acquaintanceship with everyone. The young man and his girl were there, and they promenaded about the grouuds, rowed or sailed upon the lake, or danced in theball room3 of the hotels to their hearts' content. The pioneers were calling 'up reminiscences of the olden times. The'prosperous looking farmers and their wives were scattered in jolly groups everyivhere. The dime museum was not missing, tvith its wonderful performing bears and its "Custer's last charge". Peauuts were omnipresent. Schiappicasse had sold out by four o'clock tour hundred and forty pounds of peanuts: stop to think of it. Nearly a quarter of a ton of peanuts devoured from one stand, for Schiappicasse was ouly one of several peanut sellers. Ice cream and fruit stands were to be found on all sides and seemed to be fairly well patronized. At the hotels were large crowdfl. A thriving business was done in sellins lemonade, while the ball rooms were kept well fllled. It is reported that the OliftOD house took in S600 and the Stevens house 500. There were no flghts to mar the occasion' and no crooks to piek pockets were visible. The oflïcers of the lauwere on hand and considerable sport was occasioneel by the ett'orts ot a York constable to distinguish himself. ilenry Merrithew, neatly dressed in a ïght smt with a Cleveland plug, was pointed out to the constable as a noted crook, aud a desperate man to handle. The constable displayed a lare pair of old handculïs on the shackle order, boasted of his powers, took a good look at his intended victim so as to identify him anywhere and proceeded to shadow him. Merrithew slipped into the hotel, changed his plug hat with Ilecorder bach for a straw hat and the mystilied constable couldn'l lina his crook. He devoted some time to chasing the recorder, which gay and festivo individual gave him plenty of trouble, but when he had run him down he swore he was not the fellow. Maan while Merrithew crossed the detective's patli many times undetected. When night set in, big stories were told the enterprising offlcer of the evil deeds of the crooks.and herwas wild with excitement, making great sport for the scores of people who were "onto the racket.'1 The Toledo and Anu Arbor road was an hour behind hand in returniug and the run to Ann Arbor was slowly an carefully made, consuming an hour's time. There veré no accidents to mar the occasion . The report which was current that two boys had beeu drowned on the other side of the lake proved to be unfounded, and the anxiety of many nervous mothers, who feit sure that their boys were the unfortunate ones, was soon allayed. At the hour set apart for the exercises the space about the speaker's platform was croded. C. M. VVood, of Futnam, called the meeting to order and announced that THE BUSINESS MEETING for the election of offlcers would ttrst be held. The business meeting, although at least 1500 people were present, was not of the most enthusiastic character and the old officers were quite generally reelected. So well were the people suited that no opposition was raised and but very few voted at all. On motion C. M. Wood; of Putnam, was re-electe president, but two voices responding on the viva voce vote. L. D. Lovell, of South Lyon, was re-eleeted seeretary by three voices. Hascall Laraway, of NorthQeld, was re-elected treasiuer by one discernable voice, so satisiied were the people that he would be reelected. The election of the executive committee yroceeded in the same fashion. Generally only one voice responded: when II. D. Platt, of Tittsfleld, was nominated, one very faint voice called ouf'aye." The president at one time (Üontimied on page f, FARMERS' PICNIC. ÍCoiitmuoil trom lstpajfe.) saw . fit to reminö the peoplej all are voterahere. T II. ilur.-ay, ot saiem had the honor of receiving the highes numljei cf votes, and he received four The following is the executive commit tee elect: George A. Peters, Scio; E. C. Reeves Scio; N. C. Carpenter, Ypsilanti; Isaac Terry, Dexter; S.T.Gridley, Ypsilanti E. R. Ames, South Lyon; Geo. Ren wiek, New Hudson; N. E. Sutton Northfield; H. l'inckney, Hamburg Amos Phelps, Dexter; T. DeForest Ann Arbor; George McDougal, Ypsi lanti; Peter Gill, Superior; :H. D. Platt Pittsfleld: Chas. Thayer, Green Oak Charles Fishbeck, Howell; 11. B. Thayer, Plymouth; Charles Durfee, Plymouth; P. H. Murray, Salem; Geo. Clark, Xorth field; John B. Goundry Dentón; W. D. Smith, Dexter; W. H. Louden, Ypsilanti; G. Merrill, Webster; C. II. Wines, Ohelsea; E. A. Nordrnan, Dexter. Mr. Lelaud moved that when the secretary calis' a meeting of tlie executive committee, he cali it at South Lyon. Tb ree voices run? out in heaity aves and the remainder weresilent wlien the nays were culled for. After.the quartette, Messrs. Rbwick, Fall, Wilsey, nul Mutschel, had sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee," President Wood inquired ïf the Rev. Mr. Bird was mthe crowd. Jíoone responded and the President said: "A kind and overruling providence has been over us for the past year. Rev. Mr. Gelston wili return thanks for mercies received and intercede for niercies to come." The Rev. Mr. Gelsto" made a fervent prayer. Without making any opening speech, President Wood introduced to the audience PRESIDENT WTLEtTTS of the Agricultural College. Mr. VVillitts said: "This is a pretty large world, the largest 1 ever saw, the largest world we shall any of us ever see until we can get on the mountaiu heights in eternity. It is a world givento us to cultívate, to subdue, and ever since man was created an effort bas been made to subdue it. We number at this date 1,000,000,000 of people. The great question comes to us at times vvhether there is danger of this world beconiiug over-populated, whea we take into consideration that not one-tenth of this world is undercultivation,even the poor meager cultivation that we give it, we will not fear it. I speak of this because there is an impressiou abroad that the world is fairlyoccupied. Why take our country as it stands to-day Witta its 66,000,000 of people: how many hundred millions it is capable of sustaining! What a grand svveep of country we have! Between this and the Mississippi, a home for hundreds of millions yet unborn - yet how ïnany millions can find a borne beyond the Mississippi, among those broad prairies practically yet unoccupied. What a grand future there is before us for this America! Even that portion now occupied is not fully cultivated. Even among the occupied farms there are 46 per cent. yet uuoccupied. The very fence corners of this country Will sustain a million people- the wurm fence corners of the north will sustain three milhou of peopie. You say this is a new country. Then let us take Europe. Take England, that lias been cultivated for ages. And. yet it is fact that of 53.000,000 acres 20,000,000 acres are vet uncultivated. Eighten per cent. of her arable land is yet uncultivated. There is land enough in England to-dav to support her population. Ireland at one time only sustained three or four hundred thousand people. Aftcrwards she sustained 6,000,000, althoufrh immigration has been so great, that New York is an Irish city and Massachusetts almost a democratie people. Poov Ireland! shecanjust as well support 10.000,000 as 6,000,000. Take Belgmm, withm the reach of history a mere sandhiü practically worthless. She is the most decently populated nation on the globe and she supports her population. While it is true that slie buys some wheat, she pays for it with cattle, vegetables and other ag. ricultural products of her own. ïhere are cautons in Switzerland where one acre and a quarter supports a man right along. ïhink of the possibilities of Europe- lüurope to-day could support 800,000,000 of people and support them well. The point I wish to make is the possibilities of this great earth of ours and what can be made of it. Frogressive agriculture is always to be found in a densely populated country. In the flrst stages of tne world men were huuters; in the secoud stages, shepherds. It takes less acres to. support shepherds. Next men gan to cultívate land. That took less acres. Mr. Willitts spoke of the fertility developed by knocking the bottom out of swamp Iand3. He advised stop taking thelumber off our hillts-des or else we will ünd the fertile places only in the valley. "In the middle of tlie sixleenth centurv the intvy, authorities couldn't u'nd bullocks weiglnng over 4Ü0pounds in England . So in the early ages farmers merely tickled the top of the earth. Afteiwards they plowei deeper. Í see there are some to-day, who say that tickling the top of the earth will do better than deep plowing. "There is such athing as natioDal rural economy. Without any questiou agriculture is the basis of tlii.s government and the nation shouid see to it that the-e are nc obütuiM lo dRncuiture.-' The speaker then took up the title to land, saying: "■In the flrst place, where do you get your farm? Most of your deeds came from the United States government What rieht had the U. S. government to it? VVhy, it didn't belong to anyone else. We have a certainclass of persons who saythat land was created by the Almighty and everyone has a natura right to it as he has to water or air. I oame to this county fifty-two years ago I was bom here. I found the land oc. cupied. The occupants didn't make it why shouldn't I have my share ot it? ïhat is true. I have a natural right to so much land as is necessary to live. Some people had got.in ahead of me. Shall I oust them? They had an equal right to it and there is nolaw human or divine that would give me the right to oust them unless they had inore than they need. ïhe.re is no limit to wlïat a man may want. U'hy, to-day; we Want to take niillions of acres, occuyiey I small band of rasged. dirty Indians Init nol used by tlièm, and they refuse to give it up.. U'hat right had our forefathers to thislland? They found this whole country in the possession of 40,000 Indians. At the time ofjthe revolution there were 3,000,000 people here. ■lad these 40,000 people a right to hold t against 3,000,000 of people? How much has a man a right to hold? We vill all agree to this, all that a man actually plows, that ought to be fcis. "Society steps in and gives a man a right to land because he has a little piece of paper which says it is his. Some say it is better to leave him free to accumulate land rather than to limit him. We should say thatcertain kinds of beings should not occupy any more land thau necessary. Corporations sliouldn't occupy any more land than necessary. Corporations haven't a soul. Land is inteuded f or man,a live man. A man dies and makes room for coming men. Corporations do not die. The Aünighty didn't make corporations. Man has succeeded in inventing a being which doesn't díe. If there are any corporations in this state that havepossession of.land, you see to itthatou dispossess them of it as soon as possible. "Society should provide for the education of its members. In this education, the trend of affairs is that it shall be au education that shall make a man more able to get a living. This is an age ot practical education. ;i like a handy man, one who eau, if possible, put up a stove pipe without profanity. This vising generatioa should be imbued witb „the idea that a man should not be ashamed to vvork. Let us have a generation of men that are not ed lo work. I never have been able to flnd any profession that had any sof place in it, if you attend to business. A larger prpportion ot farmers' boys are farmers than you will flnd lawyeis'boys are lawyers. "Every man has a right tobe a farmer It is a natural right that he has to a piece of land if somebody else doesn't occupy it. We rnight getalong without doctors, withoftt lawyers, without nier. chants and 1 might say after a fashion without ministers, but never withoul farmers. No man has a natural right to steal or to make another man a drunkard. It has been the kind of a stock sneer of men who have never done an hones day"s work to say that any man is good enough to be a farmer or to be a minister. The time has come to repel this sneer. Let the world stand aside foi the coming iutelligent farmer."' The Anti Arbor Quartette sang "Old Farmer Juhn." President Wood inquired if llon. C. HL Kichmond was present. He j wasn't but Mr. J. W. Wing stepped forward and presented arlicles of incorporation tor the society drafted by Mr. ltichmor.d, which, on motion, were deferred until next year, that Mr. Richmond might be present. ]KV. DI!. ADAMS of this city, was the next speaker. Alter a humorous introduction in which he mapped out a vast deal of work for himself, Mr. Adams said: "If a condition of things ever arises when land monopolies obtain the upper hand it means that you, your sous or your grandsons wil' become tenant farmers. I am persuaded that such tendencies exist. You know the difference between the Germán or French and the English farmers. There are 5,000,000 farmers in France owning or cultivating less than six acres of land. The French revolution did one good thing, in struck a blow at landed system. By law a farm was divided among tlie children. The father could only will away the share of one child. When France received that terrible blow in 1870 she developed wonderful recuperative powers through these farmers. Their system has tended to better farming. In England all the land must go to the eldest son. The Irish huid question is only the English land question gone to seed. Fifteen thousaml people oivn seven-eights of all the land. whilein England I. was on one of the farms of tfie Duke of ■VViïstminister. It contained 96 square miles. I was told that he had four other large farms besides rental of Loadon property amountingto $4,000,iKi and 1 fchought he wóuld not starve. I met a tenant farmer paying on a 200 acre farm, 2,ö(.K) yearly rental ; of this -?2.(t(K) went to the landlord and Í-50Ü Eor laxes and half of thetaxes went to a church he never attended. Tliere is a tendency here as in England to a consolidation of land in fewer liamls. The only difference between the Irish and American land question is the dtfféretfee between the wolf at the door and the wolfover the hill. In (hese few counties we have 16.0C0 farms. In Oakland and LivingstOH counties the farms average 82 acres, in VV'aoL.tena'H SS aiiü ji. Wayne o7. In Washtenaw 12 per cent. of the farms are rented in Livingston, 13 per cent. aud in Oakland and Wayne 18 per cent. In the natiou 27 per cent. of the farms are rented. Only two-fifths of the acreage of Michigan is in íarins ai d only half of that under cultivation. Only one-third of the domain of the Fnited States and only half that under cultivation. With so much unoccupied land have we a land questionV Yes, we are approacliing a time when Uncle Sam will have no more acres to giye away. When tliat time comes it will mean a radical change in our land laws. Michigan is as large as England and Wales, hut has only one-sixteenth tlie population. If we had England r rices it would take $80,000 to own a quarter se.'tion. Before the government land js all o-i ven away we have over 1.000,000 tenant fannera. We have about 3,500000 farm liands, 1,500,000 speculai ivc owners and a little less than tliat of real germine farmers. Between the 1870 and 1SS0 the nümtier of farms under 50 acres largely deereased, the uuinber of farms between 50 and 100 acres increased 37 per cent.. Èhe riumbêr between 100 and 500 acres 300 pèr cent. the ntirriber betw'een 500 and l.dilO acres ö(K) per cent. and tlie riümber over 1000 acres 800 per cent. This ; tlie begmning of land jo )ly. I kiL Chiwli'o own milliiins of acres, simple cupitalistic owners óf land. We are grówing more wealtliy. Who ias that ,_wealth? Wimt wealth is centerinii in the liands of the millionlirs. Yon may think yon can öutyote Jie millionaires but on a questióú of conomics they out vote you ten to one. rías a man a righj to own more land than he cultivatesv Is tliis prodigal ownership of land justified? I might speak of European nobles wlio own niillions of land in this country. Englaiul lost lier veomanry of the days of Oliver Croinwelk It is not for us to have forebodingon a galaday like this, but unless present tendencies are arrested there might come a time when America also will lose her yeomanry. God has only one law in regard to the ownership of land. Man niight alien ate his land, but there canje a time in the legislation of the Jews when that land must go back to his tribe. After the quartette had rendered The Soldier'9 Farewell, President Wood introduces MES. W. K. SEXTOIÏ. of Howell, wbo was in good voice. She is a large whole-souled woman and her paper bristled with good points. It was intended for the farmers wives, and spoke of them as queens of homes. The many, she said, make the household, the mother, the home. The mother has it in her power to write her name upon immortal minds. She is building character tor etermty in the lives of lier sons i-nd daughters. There is not a separate Standard of moráis for boys. Tho mother should impress upon the minds of her sons that to them is committed the future destiny of the nation. Mrs. Sexton called the roll of women who had acheived greatness. as the World views it, scientists such as ) Mary Somerville, Caroline Ilerschel, and Maria Mitcbell, philantrophists as Lucretia Mott,Elizabeth Fry, Florence Nightingale, Baroness Burdett Couts and the many other women of history as Madame de Stea], Harriet Beecher Stowe, Helen Hunt Jackson, Jennie Cassedy. Mrs. 8exton concluded, "We are not launched aimlessly into the sea of hfe, with no purpose in view, we are not placed haphazard in the world, tilling any place upon which we may happen to light, but are placed in the niche, prepared for us, and if we bring to our life's work our best endeavor, we may help others to build foundations of nobility of character, which shall endure when time shall be no more."

Article

Subjects
Ann Arbor Argus
Old News