Colored Farmers of Texas.
To the Editor of the Record:
Calvert, Aug. 15. -- The members of the Farmers' Improvement society are studious by observation, and have learned that the greatest force on earth is not intellectual force, not physical force, and not political force; but moral force.
Moral force constructs and beautifies the utilitarian. We are learning that the units of moral force are righteous characters, and that each individual can be a full-fledged integer in this force. We cannot teach by classical precept; but each one of us can teach an irrefutable lesson by good example. The Farmers' Improvement society is a determined body of honest toilers -- we know we are producers of human necessities. We believe in ourselves; we have implicit confidence in our own mental capabilities. We have the muscle or brawn sufficient to do all kinds of labor, and we can endure all kinds of deprivations, and quickly recover from its evil effects. We are cheerful and optimistic in a maelstrom of perils, and we believe that the meek men of good will, of all nations have a divine title to all the good things of earth, and a fee simple title to the bounties of God's providences.
We give smiles for frowns, and return good for evil and return love for hate. The Farmers' Improvement society is no manner political; not partisan, not denominational in religion, we believe in the fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of humanity. The best and only way to serve God is to help man see and understand the truth and to help man live a useful and beautiful life -- the meek life. What has preserved the Jews, and made their purse the world's treasury from the call of Abraham up to now? Nothing but their meekness. The intolerant and torturing hand of the Greek church, and the horrid and satanic despotism of the czar of Russia, cannot destroy the Jews. Where are the Pharaohs of Egypt? The Jews are here. Where is Persia, and all the other nations that have ever persecuted the Jews? The Jews are here, holding the purse strings of the world. What is the condition of Russia today? Obsequiously and cowardly licking the feet of Japan. Meekness is a divine panacea.
The racial zeal and altruistic work of the Farmers' Improvement society is not an ephemeral effervescence, but a serious, earnest, determined lifework.
We know the immoral "Gordian knot" we must cut, the opposition we must face, and the sacrifice we must make and the suffering we must endure in carrying on our altruistic work for human [meliorism]. We have counted up the cost, and are ready for the continuation of the war.
Our first accomplishment must be to get all of the house-renting colored people out of our cities and towns into the country on farms, where they can become home owners, producers of human necessities, independent and worthy citizens. Our next work is to [ostracize] the incorrigible criminally disposed of our race and to make immorality so horrid, hideous and detestable that all will strive for the virtuous life. Our next work is to make our homes a place of virtue, beauty and love, and to train our children to obedience, to love truth and never listen to a slanderous or vulgar conversation.
The Farmers' Improvement society is not a monomaniac on book learning. We believe in the education of the motive, the training of the conscience, and the coronation of reason and the dethronement of the passion, and industrial training at our school at Ladonia, Texas.
We do not turn out professionals, but we graduate trained farmers, carpenters, blacksmiths, dairymen, shoemakers, tailors, and we teach the boys how to doctor sick animals, and we teach the boys how to know the great difference between physical courage and moral courage, so that they may possess the glory of self-control. Our girls are taught dressmaking, cooking, how to keep a neat home, how to nurse children, how to preserve fruits, the great importance of personal cleanliness, the very great value of personal virtue. Our girls are taught to know that for one to listen to the innuendoes of the tempter means that she has surrendered the strongest part of her defense. The girls are taught a knowledge of eugenics, how to understand prenatal influence, and the constructive and destructive influence of environment in motherhood.
All of our pupils are taught the art of politeness, the duty of obedience, love for truth and the true meaning of duty, and that an idle person's mind is like a buzzards craw, in which a polecat hides all but the aroma of his defense.
Texas is the best place for the colored man to build up a worthy citizenship; because the white people of the South do not oppose our intellectual, moral and material progress; but generously help us. The southerner only opposes a fungus growth of political ambition of incompetent negroes in the South. Every true southerner should know of the means and end of the Farmers' Improvement society work, and then advise his colored neighbors to get some one to organize this society for the purpose of making them (colored farmers) better farmers, and better citizens. Our school at Ladonia, Texas, is out of debt, and will not go in debt; we pay as we go. If we had the room to accommodate all who wish to send their children to us we would have at least 1,5000 students from the farms of Texas. We are now collecting money to erect a fireproof building for more dormitory room, and more room for mechanical training. The Ladonia school will never be a mental compress, but will always be a place where character is beautified and made useful; and where hands are trained to deftness, and the mind is trained to entertain esthetic and ethical thoughts. The industrial world is calling for the negro who has a strong muscle and a strong conscience, with deft hands. The colored man with a classical education and encyclopedic mind will find it very hard to secure work. Duty means toil, and we are very rapidly preparing the youth of our race to do the work the South has to offer labor.
This is written for the instruction of my people who are not yet members of the Farmers' Improvement society, and for the information of all those colored farmers who do not send their children to our school at Ladonia, Texas. R. L. Smith is the founder and president of the Farmers' Improvement society, and one of the best of men. His example is an inspiration, his counsel is full of love and wisdom, and his life is altruistic service. R. L. Smith is a pure man, unassuming, gentle -- not an iota of presumption in his life -- not dictatorial but kind. The negroes of Texas love R. L. Smith. The Farmers' Improvement society is doing the work that God wills to be done.