Manual Labor Days 87
students might be trained in mechanical arts, and at the same time
make chairs, tables, and bed frames to furnish the college dormitories.
Doubtless if the farm could have been under the management of a
man of General Dockery's business capacity, it would have been made
to yield a handsome profit. But for the next year, the new farmer, Mr.
Henry Wall, made no better success than was made the first year. He
got into cultivation "only half as much as the students could cultivate
owing measurably to the unusual severity of the weather" that
spring.48
The measure of the dissatisfaction of the Trustees with the farm is
shown by the fact that at their meeting, July 1-3, 1835, it was thought
necessary to instruct the faculty, under whose management the Board
had put the farm, "to have a lot or small field sowed in clover as an
experiment." Later the Board gave orders about such details as
repairing fences and cutting ditches and filling up
gullies.49
The
business-like suggestions of General Dockery as to planting cotton
were not carried out. In 1835 no cotton seems to have been planted,
and while there is reference to a fine field of cotton in 1836, it was
estimated by the Board to have yielded no more than 3,000 pounds.50
With the faculty busy with their teaching and the farm under the
direction of an ordinary farmer at a salary of two hundred dollars it is
hardly surprising that it did no better. It lacked that management that
some of the Trustees saw that it must have if it was to prove profitable
to any large extent.
With the farming methods of 1834 it was also found difficult to
provide work for the students at all seasons. This is revealed in the
records of the Board of Trustees for the first year. For the last ten
weeks of 1834 hardly any farm work was done. General Dockery in
the report mentioned above deprecates any remission
―――――――
48J. C. Dockery, in a letter to S. M. Ingram, Student, XIII, 115.
49 Records of Board of Trustees, July, 1835, November 25, 1836.
50 Records of Board for Nov. 25, 1836. "Carolinus" in Biblical Recorder,
October 12, 1836, extravagantly declares that this cotton cost twenty-five cents a
pound to make.
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