may be. Do not exaggerate. If things are bad, say so; if good,
say so. No one has been asked to prepare any speech. Speak
simply, as if at your own fireside."
The morning meeting was given up to reports of work done in
different sections of the country by men, many of whom attended
previous Conferences and had returned home to start similar gath-
erings, with encouraging results.
In the afternoon the discussions were upon the following
declarations, which were read, one by one, by the secretary.
1. We believe there must be ownership of the soil as the foun-
dation of all progress and, since fully three-fourths of the Negro
race live by agriculture, we urge that more attention be given to
improved methods of farming, the raising of stock, poultry and
2. We discourage extravagance and advise all to live on less
than they earn, that they may have homes and money in the
bank, which are among the best evidences of our worth and pro-
3. We advise preparation to withstand competition, that we
may continue to share, in an increasing degree, the common and
skilled labor of the South, inasmuch as in the business world fit-
ness and not color, will be the test.
4. We urge that each community keep its schools open six
months or more in the year, and that our young people be kept
busy, in school or at work, that they may not become loafers and
5. We should make the immoral among the leaders or in the
ranks, feel the force of our condemnation. Ministers should
teach the people that religion should enter into the smallest de-
tails of daily life.
6. We recognize the mutual dependence of the white and
black races in the South, and pledge ourselves to do all in our
power to remove obstacles to our mutual progress.
7. In morals, education and property we vote, each year, a
steady gain. We advise the organizing of Negro Conferences
throughout the South.
The question of land fertilization came up, and there was
some friendly sparring over whether it was the part of wisdom to
resort to commercial fertilizers, or to manage with what the farm
supplied. Two prosperous farmers, each of whom owned consid-
erable land and was a stockholder in two or three banks, took op-
posite sides, and each gave himself as an illustration of the super-