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Michigan State Agricultural College

BY PRESIDENT ABBOT

The address for the first fair (1849), was strange to say for those days, a farmer, the Hon. E. H. Lothrop, of Galesburg, a brother of the well known G. V. N. Lothrop, of Detroit, and in his address so foreshadows the character of our agricultural college, that I am tempted to quote a few paragraphs. His language is: "I well remember when the question of the location of our state university was pending before the legislature, a proposition was made that at least eighty acres of land should be secured at or near the place of its location, and the reasons given were that the State might eventually wish to establish a department of agriculture in the same, and for that purpose would require that or a greater quantity of land, for the erection of an experimental farm. The proposition was received with evident surprise, and found no favor. Why our people and our law-givers were so blind to our best and true interest, I can give no rational explanation, unless it be our deep veneration for the past, or at that time, there was no institution for teaching the art and science of agriculture in any of the States of this union. "While our people and our government, both State and national, are truly liberal, and pour out their money like water in the establishment of literary and other public institutions, and dot our land over with theological seminaries, with law seminaries, with medical seminaries, and with military seminaries, poor agriculture, whose hand sows the seed, and whose arm gathers the harvest on which all our earthly comforts, and even our very existence depend, as, yet has no seminary in which to teach her sons the most valuable of all arts.

Michigan State


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