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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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6017. OCCUPATIONS, Agricultural.—
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6017. OCCUPATIONS, Agricultural.—

The class principally defective is that of Agriculture.
It is the first in utility, and ought to
be the first in respect. The same artificial
means which have been used to produce a
competition in learning, may be equally successful
in restoring agriculture to its primary
dignity in the eyes of men. It is a science of
the very first order. It counts among its handmaids
the most respectable sciences, such as
Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Mechanics,


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Mathematics, generally, Natural History, Botany.
In every college and university, a professorship
of agriculture, and the class of its
students, might be honored as the first. Young
men closing their academical education with
this, as the crown of all other sciences, fascinated
with its solid charms, and at a time when
they are to choose an occupation, instead of
crowding the other classes, would return to
the farms of their fathers, their own, or those
of others, and replenish and invigorate a calling
now languishing under contempt and oppression.
The charitable schools, instead of
storing their pupils with a love which the present
state of society does not call for, converted
into schools of agriculture, might restore them
to that branch qualified to enrich and honor
themselves, and to increase the productions of
the nation instead of consuming them. An
abolition of the useless offices, so much accumulated
in all governments, might close this
drain also from the labors of the field, and
lessen the burthens imposed on them. By
these, and the better means which will occur to
others, the surcharge of the learned, might in
time be drawn off to recruit the laboring class
of citizens, the sum of industry be increased,
and that of misery diminished.—
To David Williams. Washington ed. iv, 513.
(W. 1803)